I made this about a month and change ago, when tomatoes were coming in something fierce, and I was getting a million in my farmshare. It was almost necessary, after I attended my farmshare's Tomato Festival, and came home with, oh, five more pounds of heirloom tomatoes. In my defense, how can you say no to such a pretty face? YOU CAN'T.
I searched high and low through my cookbooks. Shockingly, almost none had a recipe. What's up with that? Shouldn't every self respecting non-specific cookbook have a recipe for something this basic, that is this much of a staple in kitchens?
Anydoodle, I took to the Internets, where I found this recipe on Smitten Kitchen, followed it to a recipe from Lidia, and then took Giada's advice to add butter when I served it. Ultimately, what follows is rough, and a combination of the recipes I found online, and what I had in my farmshare. I call it country style because I opted not to blend it; I like a slightly chunky sauce and thought it looked prettier that way because I'd used some colorful heirlooms. I also did not use very many plum tomatoes - I just used what I had. All in all? Totally delicious. I recommend adding some butter to make it richer; the freshness of the tomatoes makes it very bright. You don't need to; it's pretty darn tasty on its own.
Country Style Tomato Sauce
(adapted from The Smitten Kitchen and Lidia)
2-3 lbs fresh tomatoes
1 onion, minced
1-2 large carrots, minced
2-3 pressed or minced cloves of garlic (or to your taste preference)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 bay leaf
olive oil for cooking
optional: butter to taste (to enrichen)
- Peel your tomatoes. Do so by bringing a pot of water to boil, scoring your tomatoes with an X across the bottom and briefly scalding them for 20 or so seconds before dropping the tomato into a very cold bowl of water. The skin should slide right off. If not, drop them back in the hot water and repeat!
- Strain your naked tomatoes. Using a mesh strainer over a bowl, one by one, wring out your tomatoes. It sounds gross, it is gross. Throw out the seeds, but save the juices you catch in the bowl.
- Chop your squeezed tomatoes.
- Heat about a tablespoon or more of olive oil in your Le Creuset (enough to coat the bottom) over medium-high.
- Saute onions, carrots, and garlic in your pot for around 10 minutes, until the get soft and begin to change color.
- Add your tomatoes and 3/4 of your basil and sautee for a few minutes (4-5).
- Add the juice and bay leaf, reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally to break up the tomatoes as much as you can (get a little rough with them). Add the remaining basil towards the end.
- Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
- Add a tbsp (or to your taste) butter if you want to bring down the brightness; not necessary if you don't want to or don't do dairy.
- If you want a smooth sauce, this would be the point to break out your immersion blender.
- Serve hot over pasta, toast, or whatever your heart desires.
- Freezes well!