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©2017 by Jamie DeMent

Website Design and Photography: Food-Seen by Felicia Perry Photography

North Carolina

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Tomato Sauce: The Most Versatile Item In My Pantry!

This time of year, I am taking every dinged or dented tomato and turning them in to sauce to enjoy for the rest of the year.  Over the years, have made tomato sauce in more than a dozen different ways.  I have blanched and peeled tomatoes.  I have grated them and crushed them.  All the versions are good but, the process I have settled on and used for the past decade is the easiest and yields the most consistent results.  You end up with a thick, almost creamy sauce, that can be used for anything from dipping sauce, to pizza and pasta topping, to a base for soups and braises. 

The roasting time for the tomatoes varies based on how wet the tomatoes were when they were picked — this year has been incredibly wet so it will take longer to roast.  Just pay attention as you are roasting and you’ll be fine.


WHAT YOU WILL NEED:

8 pounds of heirloom tomatoes

1/4 cup of olive oil

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

4 pint jars, sterilized and ready for canning


THE PROCESS:

Make sure you've picked ripe heirloom tomatoes from your garden or from the market. Heirloom tomatoes have a wonderful flavor that rival the more modern hybrid tomato, and make a wonderfully flavored sauce.


Start by pouring half the oil on your baking sheet and spreading it around. Roughly chop the tomatoes, place them on your prepared baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and place them in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes or until the tomato skins start to wrinkle.


When you are satisfied that your tomatoes are properly roasted and wrinkled, transfer them to a high powered blender or food processor and puree until smooth.

Finally, ladle the sauce into your hot, sterilized pint jars, leaving about a quarter inch of space at the top. Tap gently on the jars to get rid of any air bubbles, wipe the rims of the jars clean with a towel, and place the lids on the jars. Finally, place the jars in a boiling water bath, process for about 35 minutes, take the jars out to cool and you're done! You've got tomato sauce for your pantry!


The more tomatoes you turn to sauce, the more sauce you'll have for your pantry!

Next week I'll share with you my recipe for meat sauce using this versatile pantry item! We're going to turn this sauce into dinner!

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