At the end of last season, I froze a lot of tomatoes, and a lot of them were substandard. They weren’t quite ripe, or they had bad spots, or a varmint had gotten a piece of them. I cut off anything offensive, blanched and peeled them, and froze them in Ziploc bags.
I haven’t used many of them, but this time I boldly took out three whole quart bags, each about ¾ full. I was going to make a tomato sauce out of our very own tomatoes, come what may.
I did. The tomatoes were very liquidy, and the sauce cooked down to about a tenth of its initial volume, but what was left was delicious.
It did justice to my first attempt at gnocchi, courtesy of Jennifer Perillo at In Jennie’s Kitchen. They came out perfectly (although I didn’t attempt her pastry-blender trick, and just used a fork to make indentations).
Fresh Tomato Sauce
(serves 2-4, depending on tomato consistency)
1-2 T. olive oil
1 bulb garlic, finely minced or pressed (yes, that’s a bulb, not a clove)
6-8 cups chopped tomatoes which have been blanched and peeled
½ cup chopped basil
salt, pepper, and sugar to taste (a little sugar works well if your tomatoes are acidic)
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it begins to brown, about 3-4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture reduces to a saucy consistency. This took over an hour for my tomatoes, but it may be as little as ten minutes for yours.
Add the basil, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook just until the basil wilts. Serve over pasta or gnocchi.