Triple Threat Tomato Sauce

sauce

I hesitate to give out this recipe because I still deep down suspect it could end up making me millions, but then Picasso said that “the meaning of life is to find your gift and then give it away,” so here we are.

Why is this called “Triple Threat” tomato sauce, you ask? Well, because it incorporates three differently prepared tomatoes: roasted, “sun dried”, and fresh. It’s certainly not a quickie throw together kind of thing, but the effort at the upfront will mean delicious home grown, home made sauce you can use for pizza or spaghetti or lasagna or whatever your bag is, all year round. Then you can impress the shit out of guests when you’re able to whip up a homemade meal on the fly that tastes like you spent all day picking tomatoes in the hot sun and then slaving over a bubbling sauce cauldron…in February.

The secret weapon of this sauce is in the dried tomatoes. They add an incomparably meaty, deep richness to the flavor and help absorb some of the water from the fresh tomatoes, giving it a perfect consistency by the end when you whizz it all up.

OK enough jibber jabber. Let’s make some sauce!

More pictures coming soon!

(A Very Imprecise) List of Ingredients

  • A metric ass ton of fresh Tomatoes (Whatever you’ve got growin’, but I like romas and cherries–black, chocolate, and chadwick are my fave varieties)
  • A pint jar of dried tomatoes
  • 3-5 cans of diced tomatoes with the herbs and garlic added in (don’t be all judgey about it, just trust me). Don’t drain them.
  • Kosher or Sea Salt
  • Coarse ground black pepper
  • Dried Herbs (Basil and Oregano)
  • A whole head of garlic, peeled (use the jar method to peel–if you have never tried the jar method, watch this Youtube video and be forever changed). Roast like half of the cloves whole and mince the rest up to use later in the sauce.
  • Copious amounts of of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Basil, like a bunch
  • A bigass pot and a wooden spoon for stirring
  • Jars (I like pint and half sized because they’re easier to fill and look awesome), lids, and bands

Making the Sauce

Step 1: Roast the Tomatoes (you can do this ahead of time and then freeze all the glop in jars or ziplocs, then thaw out)

  • Preheat your oven to 385
  • Line the baking sheet with parchment paper (unless you like having to scrape off baked on gunk)
  • Pull any stems of the cherry tomatoes and cut the tops off the romas, then cut in half (lengthwise for the romas, of course)
  • Lay them skin side down and intersperse the garlic cloves in the crevices
  • Drizzle a healthy amount of olive oil on top
  • Sprinkle a few pinches of the coarse salt on top (this will draw out the tasty, tasty juices)
  • Sprinkle the dried basil and oregano on top till pretty well coated
  • Give a few cracks of the pepper grinder over top
  • Pop it in the oven and roast for at least 2 hours, till everything’s nice and gushy and browned

Step 2: While that’s working its magic…

  • Cut up the remaining fresh tomatoes–halves for cherries, quarters for romas.
  • Coat the bottom of the pot with olive oil, turn the heat up to medium and toss in the minced garlic (if it looks like it’s gonna start browning, turn the heat down a shade or two)
  • Once the garlic has mingled/sauteed, dump in the cut up fresh tomatoes and then sprinkle generously with salt (again, juices), then stir with the wooden spoon
  • Let that shit get nice and soft, stirring occasionally, then dump/mix in the hot, roasted mess into the pot
  • Dump your cans of diced tomatoes and mix in
  • Continue to let simmer and mingle for, oh let’s say, 20 minutes
  • Dump in your jar of dried tomatoes and mix in
  • Let it all cook down, periodically adding more salt, pepper, dried herbs, whatever you think it needs, for at least an hour
  • Chiffonade your fresh basil leaves into thin strips, then dump em and stir in, letting that mingle for no more than a couple minutes
  • Grab your handy immersion blender and whizz it all up till its at a consistency you like (if you don’t have an immersion blender, get one, because they are amazing. Though I guess if you had to, you could whizz it up in a big food processor or regular blender in batches).
  • You can now freeze it if you have the room or chest freezer (you lucky sod), making sure to let it get to about room temp first, or can it up.

Canning the Sauce

  • Ladle sauce into your jars (which have been processed first if waterbath canning)
  • Either way, you should add a splash of lemon juice or use a sprinkle of True Lemon in each jar and leave at least a half inch of head space.
  • Waterbath can for 45 minutes or Pressure Can at 11 lbs of pressure for 15 minutes.
  • Label your jars with the date like a good, safe canner, and put up on the shelves till you need to call on their saucey assistance.

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