Category Archives: Sauce, Gravy, or Condiment

Tomato Sauce Seasoned with Lemongrass. Quick, Thick, and Easy!

demo ingredients FAI have really been enjoying doing cooking demos at the  Wakefield Farmers Market this summer.  I will hopefully get around to posting about the recipes I prepared earlier in the season, (some of which caused our farmer to sell out!)  but will start with this easy and really delicious (if I do say so myself!) tomato sauce that I prepared in the Market Kitchen Tent on August 6, 2016.

Since the goal of these demos is to encourage folks to try new types of produce and/or learn easy ways to use various veggies and fruits and then purchase them from our farmers, all the ingredients for the sauce except for the olive oil, salt, and black pepper were sourced from our farmers that market morning.

First, I got 5 pounds of  lovely tomatoes and basil, and I already had some garlic from Farmer Dave’s. I didn’t get a picture of it, but I got an awesome onion from Kelly’s Farm, and specific to this demo, I got the lemongrass from Flats Mentor Farm.

lemongrass

lemongrass

I had been wanting to make sauce for a farmers market demo so I could share a handy technique for making a thick sauce from fresh tomatoes without the day-long simmer that I previoulsy posted about HERE.  I also am always looking for ways to highlight less familiar Asian veggies, greens, and herbs available from Flats Mentor Farm. In wandering around the Internet, I came across a tomato sauce recipe calling for lemon zest. AHA! I thought, maybe lemon grass is an option. Having never used lemon grass, I needed to find out if it could, indeed, be used to bring a light, citrus boost to a cooked sauce. After some searching, I found this information:

Substitute 1 stalk lemongrass, chopped to make 1 TBSP for 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated.

I also found a very helpful tutorial on preparing and using lemongrass HERE.

grated tomatoes before cooking

grated tomatoes before cooking

With this info, as well as ideas based on perusing a number of sauce recipes using a minimum of seasonings, I was ready, packing just olive oil, salt, and a pepper mill to use in addition to the produce from our farmers. (Disclaimer: Although I knew I would only need a few of the items, I actually always bring a small tote bag with what I consider pantry essentials so I will be prepared for anything: olive oil, rice vinegar, tamari, salt, a pepper mill, dried red pepper flakes, and honey. I should add some maple syrup, too.)

After I got all the ingredients from our farmers, I started with the five pounds of tomatoes. I cut them in half, cut out the stem/core, and then grated them  right into a big bowl, holding the cut side of the tomato along my box grater on the side with the biggest holes, which also saved peeling the tomatoes as the skin remained behind.

minced lemongrass and garlic

minced lemongrass and garlic

Next I prepped the lemongrass and garlic, using about two inches of  peeled lemongrass  and the equivalent of a smallish clove of garlic, both minced. I did not measure, but I am going to say two 2 teaspoons of minced lemongrass and 1 teaspoon of minced garlic. Or thereabouts.  Next time I will most likely use at least another teaspoon or two of minced lemongrass.

sauteed flavor base

sauteed flavor base

Next I chopped a medium size onion and added it, with the garlic and lemongrass, to the pan after I had heated a few tablespoons of olive oil, and cooked on medium heat until just soft. Then I added a handful of fresh basil, chopped, and a few grinds of black pepper, and sauteed for a few minutes before adding the grated tomatoes.

sauce before strain

sauce before strain

strained pulpOnce all had cooked for about five minutes, I poured the contents of the pan, via a few batches, through a big mesh strainer, making sure to get as much liquid separated out as I could. Then, reserving the pulp, I poured the liquid back into the pan and cooked it down until very thick, which took about 15 or 20 minutes.

liquid cooked downOnce the liquid was thick enough to stay apart so you could see the pan for a few moments after running a spoon along the bottom, (see photo) I added back the pulp, and a about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and simmered for a few minutes to reheat the pulp and meld the flavors. And that was it!

deanos pasta for demoFor the market demo, I had cooked up some Fresh Egg Fusilli from our vendor Deano’s Pasta, which was the perfect medium!

And, below, here is the sauce. Well, what was left of it when I remembered to take a picture of it. It was definitely thick. 🙂 And folks sure did like it. I had two people ask me if they could buy the sauce and then told me I should get someone to jar it for me so I could sell it! And, having a youngster say, with eyes wide, “This IS good!” is another indicator that using simple seasonings and easy techniques are the best way to let the wonderful flavors of freshly picked local veggies and herbs to shine.

thick sauceFor just the recipe without so much talk, see HERE.

 

Shrimp and Scallop in White Wine Sauce: Quick and Tasty

2015-06-21 12.22.26I have no idea how I avoided making a white wine sauce all these years. So tasty! So quick and easy! And, the best news is that it goes with all sorts of ingredients, from the the shrimp and scallops used in this recipe, to any seafood, as well as chicken, tofu, veggies, and more.

Here is the link to the original recipe that I found when looking for a new (to me) quick and easy way to prepare the seafood.

Easy Shrimp and Scallop in White Wine Sauce

Below is the recipe with the very few adjustments I made due to not having any chicken base on hand (I added depth with marjoram and extra grated cheese), having fresh parsley available, as well as needing to use up some cherry tomatoes.  I also totally forgot to add salt and pepper, so, while I will most likely add them next time, I did not list them here to keep it true to the experience.  🙂

Here is what I used:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 8 ounces shrimp (regular, not small)
  • 8 ounces scallops (regular, not small)
  • 1cup white wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1lemon, juice of
  • 10-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 3-4  tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oil over medium/high heat, add garlic and onion and stir constantly for 1 minute. Add shrimp and scallops and continue stirring for 1-2 minutes. Add wine, basil, red pepper, and marjoramAllow to simmer 1-2 minutes. Add butter and stir until melted, then add chopped parsley, tomatoes, give a quick stir, then add grated cheese and stir until well blended. Toss with pasta, rice, or serve over a simple salad. 

For dinner, I tossed with organic brown rice ramen noodles, which worked splendidly, but any rice or pasta will work just fine.

I had the leftovers for lunch the next day. We had eaten all the noodles the night before, so I served the remaining seafood mix and sauce over the leftover salad of new lettuce, onion, and more cherry tomatoes that I had served with the original meal the night before.  (We have lots of cherry tomatoes right now, can you tell?)

Oh – don’t forget some good bread for both renditions to soak up the sauce. It is way too good to leave on the plate.

Enjoy!  And  be sure to experiment with ingredients and flavors.

Q Tip:  http://winefolly.com/tutorial/chefs-techniques-for-perfect-white-wine-sauce/

 

 

 

A Ham Like No Other – Locally raised is the best!

Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Those little packs of taco seasoning are convenient and do the trick just fine, taste-wise. But, if you want to control your salt intake, increase the heat, save a few pennies, or just didn’t realized that you forgot to buy the seasoning pack until you have the meat cooked and ready for the spices, this recipe will work just as well, if not better.

TACO SEASONING MIX  from Cooks.com

2 tsp. instant minced onion
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 tsp. corn starch
1/2 tsp. crushed dried red pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. instant minced garlic

Combine all ingredients and use immediately or seal and store. You can also double, triple or more the amounts so as to have plenty on hand as needed.

TACO FILLING:
1 lb. ground beef
1/2 c. water
1 pkg. Taco Seasoning Mix

Brown beef, drain off excess grease. Add water and seasoning mix. Reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.
—————————————————————-
If you don’t have minced onion, chopped about 1/2 a medium onion and saute in the pan before browning the meat or add minced fresh onion before adding seasoning.  Also,  1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt works fine, and I often use cayenne powder  for the red pepper.

This recipe is great as is or as a basis for your own special combination of spices. Just make sure you keep chili powder and cumin in your spice cabinet and you will be good to go for anything Mexican.

And that’s it!  Just a spur of the moment post, here.  Nothing but the facts.  🙂

No-Fuss Alfredo Sauce, Brussels Sprouts, and Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts – Who would have thought?

First let me thank Fior D’Italia (The Pasta Man) for the most wonderful ravioli that inspired an amazing meal!

For a change, I’ll start off with a picture of the plated meal, albeit taken after one ravioli had already been had eaten.

plated meal

The Meal. 🙂

And here is the wonderful ravioli that I had purchased at the Wakefield Farmers Market in October.

Gorgonzola and Walnut Ravioli from Fior D'Italia (The Pasta Man)

Gorgonzola and Walnut Ravioli from Fior D’Italia (The Pasta Man)

Let me go on the record as saying that this is good stuff – really good stuff!

Okay, on with the hows and whys of this meal coming together on a Friday night after a REALLY Loooooong week….

The actual inspirations were:

1) It was 5:30 p.m and I had not yet planned a meal

2) Even though I freeze meats in single serving sizes and use the cold water method to speed up defrosting, it was late in the day to get all that going,

3) I didn’t have any potatoes and we had already had a lot of grains during the week, so we were feeling fussy about the choice of carbohydrate side dishes and the Brussels sprouts were looking…tired, and there didn’t look to be all that many, so a “meat and potatoes” sort of meal was out of the running, and

4) The final nail in the coffin (apologies for the dramatic analogy) was that neither Steve or I wanted to go to Farmland to something prepared or quick and easy to prepare.  SO…

Into the freezer I went and found the ravioli and remembered that Deb (The Pasta Man vendor at the market) had given me a handout (that I had actually not lost) with recipes for sauces for different pastas.

Unfortunately, their recommendation for a sauce to pair with this ravioli was based on creme fraiche and I had none, nor have I ever cooked with it.  And, upon researching online (I would be one lost cook without the Internet!) I could not find what looked like an easy or satisfactory substitute for creme fraiche for which I had the ingredients.  However, I figured some sort of white sauce would work and found the perfect recipe for a quick Friday night dinner on a site that also featured a recipe for making your own Gorgonzola and walnut ravioli – NOT so good for a quick Friday night dinner. Thank goodness for The Pasta Man.  🙂

You can see the recipe from which I worked via the ravioli link, above, but here is my  version:

No-Fuss Alfredo Sauce

  • 2 tablespoon of un-salted butter
  •  clove of finely chopped garlic
  • 2-3 Tbsp minced shallot
  • About ½ cup or so of half & half
  • About ¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste
  • 1 scant tsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water (optional)*

In a medium sauté pan melt the butter, add the shallot and garlic, and cook until until fragrant and getting soft. Then, stirring constantly, add the half & half, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside and prepare the ravioli as directed. When the ravioli’s are ready, using a slotted spoon or a spider, add directly to cream sauce and toss, gently, on low heat until sauce is warm again and serve. If you want a bit thicker sauce, add the cornstarch mix and heat until desired consistancy is reached.

Along with the dirth of a long list of ingredients and processes, I was instantly enamored by the fact that this sauce can be set aside and then gently reheated once the pasta is added.  There is no room for a fussy sauce in a “quick and easy” meal!

Note: the original recipe called for heavy cream. Substitution suggestions say to add butter to half & half, so I added a tablespoon of butter to the recipe.  I am thinking I should have reduced the half & half a bit to compensate for extra liquid since the sauce did seen quite thin, hence my adding the bit of cornstarch.  But, FYI, I did not notice any ill effects on the taste or texture from using the corn starch. In fact, there was no separation or graininess after the leftovers spent the night in the fridge, so I’d say that, if you “cheat” with cornstarch, providing you keep it to a modest amount, there will be no harm done. Unless you are a purest.  <grin>

Okay – on to the Brussels sprouts.  I was originally going to use a recipe that was a big hit at Armory Street on Easter 2012, Honey Dijon Brussels Sprouts.  But, as I began to mix the sauce ingredients, I started doubting the virtue of the mustard flavor in the scope of this meal and also just happened to think of the wonderful lemon-flavored dressing I had in the fridge:

This is great!

Not only is this delicious, it is made with much heart and soul.

Close up on the details.

Close up on the details.

The sales of this dressing benefits The DAVID A. DEMARIA FOUNDATION, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, mission is to further assist children of Malden and the surrounding areas with their educational and athletic needs. The foundation was created in the memory of David A. DeMaria of Malden MA, March 19, 1985 – May 30, 2007.

Like I said in the caption, this dressing is made with much heart and soul.  And, flavor – did I say bold, bright, yet not overstated flavor?  I picked up my bottle of this dressing at Farmland.  To learn more about this dressing, see ddsdressing.com or click HERE to see the list of stores offering this handy and tasty product.

Now, back to the Brussels sprouts. Click the recipe name for the original Honey Dijon recipe – which is splendid, by the way.

As I mentioned above, they looked a bit tired so I perked them up by putting them in a bowl of cold water and sticking it to chill in the fridge for about 1/2 hour while I was preparing the bacon wrapped water chestnuts described later in this blog post.

refreshing the sprouts

Refreshing the sprouts – and there were more than I thought. 🙂

Honey Lemon Dill Brussels Sprouts
Note: measurements approximate. Season to taste.

  • 12 Brussels sprouts, halved
  • 1  teaspoons butter, melted
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 1 – 2 Tbsp lemon dressing
  • 1 pinch dried dill weed
  • 1 pinch onion powder

Place Brussels sprouts into a saucepan filled with lightly salted water. Boil over medium high heat until Brussels sprouts are just tender, 8 to 10 minutes; drain. Mix butter, honey, lemon dressing, dill weed, and onion powder in a large bowl.
Toss Brussels sprouts in the mixture to coat.

Note: If you don’t have lemon dressing you can improvise. But, I recomend trying to get some of this dressing. It is REALLY tasty and nice to have on hand for any recipe.

NOW for the moment you have been waiting for:

Orsini thought it was scallops in that bacon.  :)

Orsini thought it was scallops in that bacon. 🙂

Well, perhaps not. 🙂

Okay – I followed the next recipe as written. I had never heard of bacon wrapped water chestnuts until a week or so ago via a Facebook post by Budget Bytes (I think – can’t find it right now) but I thought it would be a fun to try.  And, since I had a can of water chestnuts on hand and a 8 oz pack of bacon in the fridge, this Friday night seemed a good night to try it out. A quick online search that included the words “quick” and “easy” resulted in a really easy recipe that was also very tasty.  Here it is:

Bacon-Wrapped Water Chestnuts

  • 1 (8 ounce) cans water chestnuts, drained
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 8 slices bacon, cut in half crosswise

Marinate the water chestnuts in soy sauce for 1 hour.

marinating the water chestnuts

marinating the water chestnuts

Drain. Roll each chestnut in the brown sugar. Wrap each chestnut with a piece of bacon. Secure with a toothpick. ready to wrapwrapping

Arrange on a cake rack in a shallow baking pan.

IMPORTANT UPDATE:  Be sure to line the pan with foil!  I learned the hard way and just now, as I add this disclaimer five days later, finally got the pan clean after much soaking and scrubbing!
…carry on:

Bake at 400 degrees F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels. NOTE: This can be prepared ahead of time and stored in refrigerator until ready to bake.

baking

Disclaimer: I used my countertop toaster/convection oven and they were done in 18 minutes.  Note to self: Next time, put foil on the pan so you don’t have to soak it for days to get the burned on fat and sugar off of it….

And, that’s it. And there’s more!  Steve got involved in the repair of his Martin guitar, so, while dinner could have been ready  in well under two hours, both the  bacon/chestnuts and Brussels sprouts held nicely at a warming temperature of 170 and the alfredo sauce was fine at room temperature until we were ready for dinner. Once we were ready to eat, I just cooked the ravioli and finished off the sauce.

And that’s it. Definitely a meal that works for an easy meal for two but can also be made for company and even a crowd. It’s a keeper at our house, that’s for sure!

Tomato Sauce – my favorite using canned tomatoes

I have discovered the perfect tomato/pasta sauce. You can leave out the sausage for a delicious vegetarian version, or use another type of meat.  Use just one or all or less or more of the optional ingredients, simmer for as short or long a time as you want, but use this (or Mark Bittman’s original recipe) as your basis for sauce from canned tomatoes and you can’t go wrong.  I used all the optional ingredients but the mushrooms when I took the pictures for this post.  But the last time I made it, I used all but no bell pepper.  And, my first version had no meat and no mushrooms. Each was super. Just have fun with this one!

Note: if using sausage or another sort of meat, be sure to brown it in the same pot you are using to saute the veggies and simmer the sauce.  You don’t want to lose any flavors.

All-purpose tomato sauce

Based on a recipe by Mark Bittman

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/29633150/

chili salsa peppers

From the plants that wintered over in our bedroom. Still going strong in March!

Here is my version:

  • 5-6 Italian sausages, sweet, hot, or both. (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil (optional if using sausage)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions, chopped (about 2 cups lightly packed, give or take)
  • 3 -4 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup of chopped green bell pepper (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups  (or so) chopped fresh mushrooms (optional)
  • 2 green chili salsa peppers, de-seeded and chopped (optional)
  • 2 red chili salsa peppers, whole – to be removed later. (optional)
  • 2 28 oz can whole tomatoes, liquid reserved (4 cups or so) chopped or broken apart by hand.
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley or basil leaves (optional)

Just one of my "bunch of ingredients" shots. 🙂

Directions:

If using sausage, heat the 2 T olive oil in pot over medium heat, add the sausages, and brown each side, about 8 minutes total.  Remove from pan, set aside, and cut into pieces before adding back to the sauce.

Brown the sausages at least 4 minutes per side.

Put the 1/4  olive oil in the  pot over medium heat.

Add the 1/4 olive oil to the leftover fat and brown bits from the meat, if using.

When the oil is hot, add the onions, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 3 minutes.

Then add garlic and, if using, chili salsa peppers, bell pepper, and/or mushrooms and cook for another few minutes.

All the veggies - no mushrooms in this round.

Next, slice and add the browned sausages or other meat, if using, the tomatoes, and as much liquid as you would like depending on desired thickness and how long you have to simmer the sauce.

Next - the sausage, or other meat, if using

Add sugar and dried herbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes break down and the mixture comes together and thickens.  The longer, the deeper the flavor!  Although, it still tasted great with a shorter simmer. But, be sure to taste for spiciness as you simmer if using the fresh hot peppers and remove if the fire gets more than you like.

starting to simmer

Once it is at the thickness you want, taste, adjust the seasonings, stir in any fresh herbs, and keep warm. (Or let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to several days; reheat gently before serving.)

Close to being done - time to take out the salsa chili pepper!

I am so pleased with this recipe.  Never mind the vibrant taste with no extra sodium, etc., it makes more the the 24-26 oz that comes in most jars of sauce.  I am sorry, 26 oz is just NOT enough if you want more than a smidgen of leftovers!

Oh, I need to include an apology, here.  I recently used this recipe for a church potluck .  I was careful to chop only one hot pepper and then put only one whole not pepper to simmer in the sauce for a while.  I kept checking the level of heat while simmering and took out what I thought was the ENTIRE hot pepper almost two hours before serving time…Unfortunately, the pepper had split and I had taken out only HALF of that pepper when I deemed the sauce flavorful but safe for a potluck…  Church and cooking friend Marjorie, whom I told about my error, did report that it was hot, but I didn’t see anyone in active distress – I am hoping everyone who tried it liked it hot!

But, next time, the hot peppers will go in cheesecloth for easy and complete retrieval!

Guacamole – Sometimes simple is better

I adore avocados. I love the texture, the taste, and the color.  I am happy eating plain slices of avocado, but given my love of garlic, tomatoes, and onions, guacamole is a big favorite of mine.

I have tried many different recipes over the years, some complicated, some less so.  I ended up finding what is for me the perfect balance of flavors and textures by using as few ingredients as possible.

Here is how I do it.  First, the ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, peeled and chopped
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 medium tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 medium onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • fresh ground black pepper, to taste.

First, the lovely avocado, with lemon juice added once all is in the bowl

Next, 1/2 a tomato, chopped

Next, 1/2 a tomato, chopped

Then, some diced onion - a quarter or more

Then, about 1/4 of a medium onion, large diced

2-3 cloves of garlic, minced will do the trick

two or three cloves of garlic, minced, does the trick

Mix and mash, leaving some lumps and add the ground black pepper

Mix and mash, leaving some lumps, and finish with fresh ground black pepper

So simple, so easy. The flavor is  clean, fresh, and zesty,and I find the “fork-mashed with some lumps left” texture to be more satisfying than guacamole that is pureed.

If you want some complexity, try adding some cumin or cayenne pepper.  And, for a bit more richness, add some olive oil.  But, I really enjoy the simple version.  And, I NEVER add salt.  I did once and found it brought out a bitter flavor, which surprised me, since salt can bring out sweetness.

In any case, if you are new to making guacamole, or have been using a more complicated recipe for years, give this one a try.  I bet you’ll like it.

Sauce from Freshly Picked Tomatoes

This was my second time making homemade tomato sauce from tomatoes from my garden this summer.  The first time, I started with 2 pounds of tomatoes and that just did not make enough sauce for my druthers.  This time, I started with over 4 pounds of assorted types of  tomatoes, including 3 plum tomatoes from the plants in the whiskey barrel in my back yard.

plum tomatoes in my back yard

plum tomatoes in my back yard

I cut a small X at the bottom of each tomato, put them in almost boiling water for a minute or so, cooled in ice water, and slipped the skins off.  I then cut the tomatoes in half, cored them, and squeezed most of the seeds and excess liquid out.  Here are the results:

Just under 2.5 pounds of crushed tomatoes from a bit over 4 pounds of whole tomatoes

Just under 2.5 pounds of squeezed tomatoes from a bit over 4 pounds of whole tomatoes

Next, I added about 2 T of extra virgin olive oil and 3 cloves of garlic, chopped, to my 10 inch saute pan, put the heat on med-high, and got things sizzling just a bit, turned down the heat and sauteed until the garlic was aromatic.  Then – the fun part:  mushing/crushing up the tomatoes with my hands before adding them to the pan.  Yes, is IS okay to play with your food!

I also added a teaspoon each of salt and sugar at this, followed by a chopped green chili pepper and a Tbsp of fresh thymes leaves  from our attic balcony garden:

peppers and thyme in the sky.  For Wakefield MA folks, that is the Galvin School parking lot in the background.

peppers and thyme in the sky. For Wakefield MA folks, that is the Galvin School parking lot in the background.

I also added a Tbsp of chopped fresh basil leaves at this time.  After simmering for 5 or 10 minutes, I used a slotted spoon to remove the pulp so the liquid could cook down and thicken.

pulp and liquid separated

pulp and liquid separated

Here is the liquid after simmering uncovered for 20 minutes:

thickened sauce makes a great base for the sauce

thickened liquid makes a great base for the sauce

At this time, I added back the pulp, and added a teaspoon of fairly finely chopped fresh mint leaves, also from my attic garden.  Here are two pictures showing how many mint leaves make a teaspoon of chopped mint.  That is chocolate mint, by the way.  My favorite!

mint leaves with tablespoon for size perspective

mint leaves with tablespoon for size perspective

a teaspoon of chopped mint

a teaspoon of chopped mint

I let the sauce simmer a bit more and, voila!  Amazing sauce – nice and thick.

Thick and chunky sauce

Thick and chunky sauce

Two cups sauce, to be exact

Two cups sauce, to be exact

This came out REALLY good!  YUM!

Here is the list of ingredients I used this time around:

  • Fresh tomatoes, assorted varieties, just under 4 1/2 pounds
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, extra virgin
  • 3 good-sized cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • one green chili pepper, de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh mint leaves

Did I miss anything?  <grin>  Of course,  I will probably vary the recipe ingredients and minutes of simmering each time I make sauce.  But, this should do as a good guide.

I’d like to extend a special thanks to food blogger extraordinaire Chez Pim.  I found her post 15-Minute Tomato Sauce. Really. when searching for tips on making sauce from fresh tomatoes.  While my version takes more than 15 minutes, I got the idea of separating out the pulp and thickening the liquid by itself from her.  Based on my previous sauce making, I can say that the separation method is worthwhile, whether you are in a hurry to make the sauce or not!