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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Recipe: How to Make a Simple Tomato Spaghetti Sauce (Pictures)

Well I have 100's yes 100's of tomatoes coming in (actually in). The blight hasn't arrived like it typically does. I have to give two thumbs up to sulfur spraying - it worked! If you look on my plants you can find little areas of leaf spot and possibly blight. Remember the goal was disease management. It am finding I managed disease this year. I lost 2 or 3 plants to leaf spot out of over 35 tomato plants. What does that mean? Hundreds of tomatoes to consume. That is a good thing!

Here is a very basic and quick recipe to make tomato sauce out of any tomato.  In this recipe you can include the seeds or de-seed the tomatoes. Seeds may add bitterness. I find the smaller seeds of sweeter tomatoes go unnoticed. I also leave the skins on. The puree process seems to take care of them just fine.

Tomatoes For Tomato Sauce: Gary Pilarchik

Above are many varieties of tomatoes. I have 'Polish Linguisa' which I will de-seed for the sauce. I also have other varieties 'Purple Plum',  'Baxter Bush Cherry', 'Rutgers', and 'Abraham'. They will be used whole and I will leave the seeds in. In a perfect sauce you would use paste and roma type tomatoes and remove the seeds. This is a quick sauce to manage 100's of tomatoes. If you want... remove all the seeds.

You will notice 2 hot banana peppers. I pureed those too for heat.

Cut Up the Tomatoes for the Blender: Gary Pilarchik
The tomatoes get liquified in the blender. The setting might be puree or liquify on your blender. Blend the tomatoes for a good minute. 

My blender has measurements on the side and I made about 12-14 cups of tomatoes. This recipe is timed for this amount of tomatoes. But don't worry, you will know when the sauce is ready by how it looks.


Liquified Tomatoes or Sauce: Gary Pilarchik
Notice the color doesn't look like tomato sauce. The familiar red color comes as the puree cooks down. The puree looks pink and it is filled with air. It will be foamy. That is okay.

Tomato Puree into the Pot: Gary Pilarchik

Just put the puree into a large pot and heat it. It will be foamy and have a color you are not used to for sauce. Below are my 'Polish Linguisa' tomato. They are paste tomatoes and easy to de-seed. I am trying to use all the tomatoes in my garden. You will notice how thick the walls of this tomato are and how easy it is to de-seed. If you like making sauces and don't want to chance bitterness from the seeds... this is a great variety.

De-seeding the 'Polish Linguisa': Gary Pilarchik
The Tomato Seeds and Gel Removed: Gary Pilarchik

The roma/paste type tomatoes are this easy to de-seed. What you end up with is some thick walled tomatoes for outstanding sauce. It is the meat of the tomato you want for sauce.

De-seeded Roma/Paste Tomatoes for Their Meat: Gary Pilarchik
The rest of the tomatoes are put through the blender and into the pot. As it begins to boil it will look foamy and freaky. That is the air coming out of the puree. I put in garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Don't fully season it at this point. Just put it a bit of what you like. You will add seasoning to taste toward the end of cooking.

Garlic Powder, Salt, Pepper: Gary Pilarchik

Tomato Sauce? or...: Gary Pilarchik

You are going to boil down/reduce 12-14 cups of tomato puree. This will take 60 to 90 minutes depending on the boil. Tomato sauce can be boiled hard. The benefits of lycopene improves when cooked. Tomatoes are one of the rare vegetables that improve, in parts, nutritionally with cooking. Set the stove to medium highish and reduce it down.

Tomato Sauce 45 Minutes in: Gary Pilarchik

Here is a trick and one of the reason you shouldn't fully salt your tomato sauce in the beginning. Tomato sauce can be acidic. This varies on the tomato variety and on the taste of the chef. Baking soda can add a salty taste if over used.

I use a quarter teaspoon of baking soda in the sauce to neutralize acidity. It works. Just make sure you use a quarter of teaspoons to start. After that is added. taste it. If you like it... stop. If not, repeat the process one more time. You don't want to use a lot because it could off taste your sauce.

Baking Soda in Tomato Sauce?:Gary Pilarchik

The sauce will foam up again. Tomatoes are acidic/acid and baking soda is a base. They react with each other and neutralize each other. A little chemistry in the kitchen.

Tomato Acid and Baking Soda Reacting: Gary Pilarchik

Remember a quarter teaspoon was for 12-14 cups of puree. Adjust accordingly.

Tomato Sauce Arrives: Gary Pilarchik

After about an hour it is starting to look like tomato sauce. I added salt and pepper to my taste. Add it slowly and taste it. You can always add but you can't remove... so add slowly.


Tomato Sauce about 75 Minutes In: Gary Pilarchik
I added mushrooms. I also added dried oregano. The dried oregano will absorb flavor and add flavor. You want to add dried herbs in the last 15 minutes of cooking. The flavor can be cooked away or they can become bitter if cooked for a long time.

Below is my quick tomato sauce on pasta.


The Final Product - Home Tomato Sauce: Gary Pilarchik
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