Z^2 (zoofussa) wrote in veggies_r_us,

Tomato sauce?

It's tomato season. I LOVE fresh tomatoes. I grew up very unimpressed with tomatoes, to be honest. We had those tasteless grocery store tomatoes that my mother stored in the refrigerator (yes, I know better now!! But she still insists on putting hers in the fridge) and the only time I ever encountered a fresh tomato was on a sandwich- another food item about which I am ambivalent.

It took cherry tomatoes to really make me fall in love. Again, my mom would keep some on hand but I always thought they were so bitter and not so great. Upon sampling properly stored ones, I realized why they were so popular. I bought a pint of sweet yellow grape tomatoes at the World's Best Farmstand (ie Chino Farms) and I almost died of happiness, they were so sweet and berry-like. So now I am a convert and use them all the time, especially in the summer when Trader Joe's has the organic red and yellow mix. I think I've shared my (easy) recipe for the tomato/mozzarella basil penne in my LJ but I can post it again if anyone wants to try it.

I've always loved tomato sauce though. The runny sugary kind (ie Ragu) grosses me out, but I love the chunky ones that are now in vogue. I have a big bowl of fresh tomatoes, a variety of regular ones and heirlooms, so I decided to try my hand at tomato sauce. I've never done this on my own before and I'm intimidated. I don't have an Italian bone in my body. Hopefully that isn't a requirement. ;)

Bristol Farms had a golden heirloom jar sauce that sounded good in theory, but it had very little spice and was super watery so I didn't care for it. I figure it can't be worse than that! I did an unintentional test run a week ago using my Magic Bullet and some sauteed veggies for the kids, so now I'm trying it on a bigger scale. I found the carrots I put in actually sweetened the sauce and cut the acidity so I didn't need to add sugar, so I'm trying that again.

I found a recipe on allrecipes.com and I'm going with that, with the additional modification of the sauteed and food-processed carrots and zucchini (I have to use them up somehow!) It's simmering as we speak, and if it isn't horrible I'll share the recipe with you guys. This one is labor intensive, but since it freezes it won't be a huge waste of time since I'll have sauce for a bit. Unless it sucks.

My cousin is married to an Italian guy who has some weird ritual about their sauce, making it in Macbethian sized cauldrons and jealously guarding the secret recipe. If anyone here knows of a less difficult to obtain recipe that they can vouch for, let me know. My CSA share comes tomorrow with even more heirlooms and I'm in a saucy mood. Get it? *groan*

If you have a favorite non-tomato sauce tomato recipe that you love, by all means share that too. I know a couple of you are panzanella fans, and the one I made was meh at best, so maybe that is worth a revisit.  
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