Thursday, August 12, 2010

Summer Tomatoes

A dear, dear friend to me has fresh, garden tomatoes growing out of her ears, like some of you probably, and needs some recipes so they don't go to waste. So here is one of my recipes I shared with her, now I want to share it with you.

Simple Tomato Sauce

-28 oz can of whole peeled/crushed/diced/halved cherry tomatoes* (if your using homegrown fresh summer tomatoes squeeze to get all the seeds out in a small bowl; preserve as much juice as possible)
-3 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-3-4 tbsp of fresh chopped basil (use much less if dried, but there's really no substitute for the flavor with fresh basil)
-1 diced sweet onion
-Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
-1 clove of garlic
-Fresh, grated Parmesan cheese
-Sea salt
-Fresh ground black pepper

Add olive oil to a hot, deep skillet. Add onion until soft or caramelized**. Add garlic until it just sizzles. Add red pepper flakes next if desired. Then add your tomatoes-if using whole peeled; crush up with a potato masher until you get the consistency you desire. Otherwise pour the can or fresh tomatoes in and reduce to a simmer & cover for about 10-15 minutes. Boil your choice of pasta until al dente, drain & do not rinse-you want to keep the starchiness of your pasta so the tomato sauce will stick and soak into the noodles. Pour pasta into the skillet and mix until pasta is covered. Add basil, salt and pepper and Parmesan cheese (it's cheaper in the long run to buy a wedge of cheese and grate over meals as needed. It keeps forever, and you can freeze the rind to add to soups in the future, which gives massive flavor).

I'll be posting more ways to use up those summer tomatoes soon, but if any of you have any other recipes please share.....I'm getting hungry and my tomatoes just keep staring me down!

*If using cherry tomatoes there is no need to cook these. Simply cut in half, toss in hot pasta immediately and the tomatoes will cook by the heat of the pasta. Then add pasta with the tomatoes to the skillet with the oil. Drizzle more olive oil here if desired.

**Here is also where you can add other veggies; finely diced carrots, broccoli, etc. This makes the sauce more meaty; it's healthier and lasts longer. The veggies would be best when you make a thicker sauce using the whole peeled or crushed tomatoes.

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