I feel like I have neglected my vegetable garden in the last few weeks. Enduring a hectic work schedule with early starts and late finishes, my garden has sat unloved, unwatered and unappreciated. I have glanced at it from the kitchen window, but that’s been about it. Today I ventured out to see what state it was in and lo and behold, the tomato population had exploded. I have been picking many a tomato over the last few months, mostly the smaller varieties, but today all the larger ones were sitting plump, red and juicy on the vines.
I had to go back inside and get a bigger bowl.
So, what to do with a tonne of ripe, large tomatoes? Sauce, of course!
I didn’t want to try my hand at ketchup, so went for a tasty tomato sauce that could be frozen in pouches, and pulled out at a moment’s notice. Destined for quick pasta and bacon dishes, or to jazz up an on-the-spot spaghetti bolognese.
I took a quick peek at the pasta sauce jars in the cupboard, to get an idea of their ingredients, then set about making my own concoction with some other tasty spices and flavours which I had on hand.
This recipe is pretty rough, in that it’s a ‘little of this’ and a ‘little of that’.
In a LARGE pot, I glugged in a splash of roasted onion flavoured olive oil. (It is such a nice oil). To that I added two chopped onions, and a handful of roughly chopped garlic cloves. Let that cook off for about 6-8 minutes until the onion becomes translucent.
Next up, I added in the chopped tomatoes, seeds, skin and all. I would estimate I used around 30 large tomatoes (hence the name of the recipe). I then added a sachet of tomato paste, two large dessert spoonfuls of brown sugar, a generous shake of smoked paprika, a single dessert spoonful of molasses and two pinches of Tasmanian sea salt flakes. (As I said, it’s a very rough recipe).
Cook this on medium heat, covered, for about 40 minutes. After then, the tomatoes were nice and soft, so I took the lid off, turned the heat down to low and let the sauce reduce.
After around 2 hours, it had reduced enough that I could blitz it with a hand mixer. Don't over blitz, as you still want it to be a little thick. Once blitzed, I continued to cook it down on a low heat until it thickened. When it was cool, I distributed the sauce into 4 zip lock bags, destined for the freezer and quick after work dishes.