Seriously Homemade Pasta Sauce

My backyard tomato plant overfloweth with fruit, and apparently so did my neighbor's, which is why he gifted me with a bucket full of his own organically grown produce. Needless to say, my refrigerator overfloweth with tomatoes! Yes, we eat a lot of salads, but not enough to warrant the storing of 40 red juicy tomatoes that weren't going to last as long as it would take for me to use them all. Hmm, what to do, what to do...

Homemade Pasta Sauce!

After putting the best ones aside for salads and sandwiches,and throwing away a few that just couldn't hold on any longer... we began the process with about 30 small to medium sized tomatoes. We (The Princess and I) washed them and sliced little Xs into the top. The Xs help the skin to peel during the blanching process.

a portion of the tomato harvest
A few at a time, tomatoes were added to a pot of rapidly boiling water for ten to fifteen seconds, and then immediately immersed in a bowl of icy water. WOW! I had never seen a tomato skin practically peel itself from its body before. It was amazing. Of course, I did have to help them along and peel them, like grapes.

peeled tomatoes look like peeled grapes

Once they are peeled, then begins the painstaking process of slicing them and removing the tough core, all of the jellylike seed clusters, leaving nothing but the red "meat" of the tomato. When the tomatoes were as ready as they were ever going to be, we started the sauce.

Five diced garlic cloves and two small diced onions went into a large pot along with two tablespoons of olive oil. They sauteed over medium heat until the onions were translucent and glassy... and the kitchen was filled with tear inducing garlic and onion fumes! Princess actually had to leave the room, but I enjoyed having my house smell like I had just walked into The Olive Garden.

Then the tomato meat went in, along with about 3 tablespoons of dried basil, 2 tablespoons of dried oregano (that was fresh from my garden and home dried), 2 bay leaves, and a teaspoon of salt (we keep our salt intake low).

"simmer down now"
I covered the pot and it simmered on a low heat for hours and hours. Three and a half of them to be exact. I watched those tomato chunks soften up and release water and oils to actually create a saucy consistency. I also watched a third of the volume simmer away. No wonder you need so many tomatoes to make just one jar of sauce.

In the end, we had a very chunky pasta sauce. I was told that I could throw it into the blender to puree it smooth, but I actually liked the chunkiness. It was sweet too! I don't know how it became so sweet without adding any sugar, but it tasted like I had. When it cooled, I put it into a container and into the fridge. Two days later we made lasagna!

Just for a little more volume, I added a small can of unseasoned tomato sauce when making the lasagna, only because I needed a more saucy sauce for the lasagna. If I were just going to pour it over pasta, I would have left it exactly the way it was.

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