10 lbs perfectly ripe, fresh, locally grown tomatoes
2 cups water
1 pound of sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
¼ cup of good olive oil (herb flavored if you have it)
1 T dried Italian seasoning
1 t. dried oregano
1 t. red pepper flakes
2 T balsalmic vinegar
2 t. sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
- Wash tomatoes. Cut in half and cut out the butts. Squeeze each tomato half to roughly squash out the seeds. (Don’t worry about removing every seed).
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan. Add onion, garlic, and dried herbs to pan. Cook over medium heat until veggies are soft and fairly translucent. Set aside.
- Place prepared tomatoes along with cooked vegetables into a large, wide, heavy bottomed stock pot. Add water and pepper flakes. With heat at medium-high, bring to a boil. Then lower heat so sauce is simmering.
- Simmer for about 90 minutes (no lid on pot). Check sauce after the first thirty minutes, stirring and removing any loose tomato skins. Repeat the process again in another thirty minutes. By then, you should be able to remove nearly all of the skins.
- During the last 30 minutes, add sugar and balsamic vinegar to sauce. Check and stir more frequently to prevent burning or sticking. When the sauce is medium thick and reduced by almost half, turn off the flame.
- Use an immersion blender to break up any remaining pieces of vegetables, creating a fairly smooth sauce. (You can also use a food processor or regular blender, processing in batches. But let the sauce cool a bit first! Take care not to spill hot tomato sauce on yourself!)
- Place a colander (with medium holes, not a sieve) over a medium-sized pot. To remove some (but not all) of the remaining seeds, pour in the sauce into the colander. Shake colander gently so the sauce will run through. Discard the seeds.
- Season sauce to taste (start with a teaspoon of salt, taste, then add in quarter teaspoon increments until you achieve desired flavor) while cooking over low heat for an additional ten minutes.
- Serve fresh, freeze, or can sauce as desired. (I like to can mine in pint jars. Perfect size if you’re cooking for one or two people.)
Makes approximately 6 to 8 cups of fresh tomato sauce.