Saturday, June 23, 2012

On the Menu: Homemade Tomato Sauce

We have a bounty of fresh tomatoes coming from our garden now, so it's time to create my homemade tomato sauce from scratch. Yum!

Our garden fresh tomatoes are key to a good homemade pasta sauce.
One day of tomato produce from this year's garden.

My caro amici Gennaro and Luciano would be proud! These friends come from a village near Positano on the Amalfi Coast. Using Napolitano recipes from their Nonna Lina, they have created delicious dishes for their Luciano Restaurants.

Image via How to Make Pasta.

While my recipe for homemade tomato sauce may not be as authentic as the savory sauces made by Nonna Lina in her Italian cucina, this one transports me from Texas to Tuscany with the very first bite! Now, if only I hadn't broken my pasta maker.



10 ripe tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper, chopped
2 carrots, grated
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 teaspoon oregano
1/4 cup red wine (suggestion: cook and drink Montepulciano d`Abruzzo Sciarpa)
1 bay leaf
1 stalk celery
2 tablespoons tomato paste

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Have a large bowl of iced water ready. Plunge whole tomatoes in boiling water until skin starts to peel, 1 minute. Remove with slotted spoon and place in ice water bath. Let rest until cool enough to handle, then remove peel and squeeze out seeds. Chop 8 tomatoes and puree in blender or food processor. Chop remaining two tomatoes and set aside.

In a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic in oil and butter until onion starts to soften, 5 minutes. Pour in pureed tomatoes. Stir in chopped tomato, basil, oregano and wine. Place bay leaf and whole celery stalk in pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 2 hours.

Stir in tomato paste and simmer an additional 2 hours. Discard bay leaf and celery and serve over pasta.

Buon appetito!

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