Thursday, September 17, 2015

From Harvest To Table | Basil and Garlic Tomato Sauce

When hubby and I planted tomatoes in late May, I envisioned red, plump and juicy tomatoes that are perfect for homemade tomato sauce. We planted 4 varieties {big beef, better boy, cherry and grape} totaling to 9 plants. After 3 months of tender-loving -care and long hot sunny days, I have been harvesting baskets and baskets of these goodies.

While the cherry, grape and yellow pear cherry tomato plants are all bursting with ripe fruits, it took a while for the big beef and better boy to ripen on the vine. I followed some "tips for ripening tomatoes on the vine" I read in my gardening books. Here's what I learned : when tomatoes have reached full or nearly full size ....
  • Reduce watering
  • Keep the plant dry
  • Remove the plant's lower leaves
  • Pick small fruits
  • Pick excess fruits
  • Check plant daily

Then finally, the wait is over and wait was worth it! The tomatoes are sweet, plump and juicy as I imagined them to be! Now I am ready to make my homemade tomato sauce. After harvesting some tomatoes, I also gathered the other ingredients I need from our veggie garden like basil, oregano and parsley.

My recipe is easy but bursting {my favorite word for the day!} with flavour. Just remember the 4 steps:

Clean and cut tomatoes.

Boil tomatoes.

Strain tomatoes.

Saute and season tomatoes.
And viola! Even the most expensive canned tomatoes can't beat the freshness and flavour of homemade tomato sauce.

Basil and Garlic Tomato Sauce


15 big pieces of fresh tomatoes {I used big beef and better boy varieties
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
7 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp red pepper flakes {optional}
1/2 cup chopped fresh sweet basil
5 sprigs fresh oregano, stems removed
2 tbsp sugar {add more if needed}
salt and pepper


Wash tomato and remove core
Cut tomatoes in quarters
Place tomatoes in a large cooking pot and allow to boil over medium heat, about 20-30 minutes or until the tomatoes are reduced to a pulp. Stir frequently.
Using a big metal mesh strainer, strain the tomatoes to remove skin and seeds. Discard seeds and skin; set aside the tomato puree.
In the same pot were you boil the tomatoes, heat 2 tbsp olive oil.
Saute garlic and red pepper flakes.
Add the tomato puree and simmer for 20 minutes over medium heat.
Add basil and oregano.
Season with sugar, salt and pepper,
Simmer over low heat for another 20 minutes {or until your preferred consistency is achieved} while stirring frequently.
Serve sauce with your favorite pasta topped with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.

Note: when properly canned, this sauce can last for several months. You can also store the sauce in good quality zip lock bag and freeze.

Linking with :  Simple Saturdays  *  Saturday Sparks  *  Treasure Hunt Thursday  

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