Wednesday, July 23, 2008
I say "tomato"
After making gazpacho, we still had tons of very ripe tomatoes on our countertop. Time for Delia Smith's Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce! We have plenty of basil, so with just some onion and garlic we were all set.
This sauce is very easy, you just let the ingredients simmer on the stovetop for a couple of hours until "jamlike." I got mine almost as thick as Delia's, but then it thinned out a bit when the remaining uncooked tomatoes are added in at the end.
This sauce is wonderful and will be my "go to" recipe when I have an excess of tomatoes. The flavor is very concentrated but still fresh. Much brighter than anything I've had from a jar, and I've had some delicious specialty jarred sauce.
Food in the freezer is like money in the bank!
Here's the recipe, with some of my notes:
Delia's Classic Fresh Tomato Sauce
2 lb 8 oz (1.15 kg) fresh, red, ripe tomatoes (around 12 plum tomatoes)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion weighing about 4 oz (110 g), peeled and finely chopped
1 fat clove garlic, peeled and crushed
approximately 12 large leaves fresh basil
a little Parmesan (Parmigiano Reggiano), to serve
salt and freshly milled black pepper
1. First skin the tomatoes. To do this, pour boiling water over them and leave them for exactly 1 minute or, if the tomatoes are small, 15-30 seconds, before draining and slipping off their skins (protect your hands with a cloth if they are too hot).
2. Now reserve 3 of the tomatoes (around 10 oz) for later and roughly chop the rest.
3. Next heat the oil in a medium saucepan, then add the onion and garlic and let them gently cook for 5-6 minutes, until they are softened and pale gold in colour. Now add the chopped tomatoes with about a third of the basil, torn into pieces. Add some salt and freshly milled black pepper, then all you do is let the tomatoes simmer on a very low heat, without a lid, for approximately 1½ hours or until almost all the liquid has evaporated and the tomatoes are reduced to a thick, jam-like consistency, stirring now and then.
4. Roughly chop the reserved fresh tomatoes and stir them in, along with the rest of the torn basil leaves, and serve on pasta with a hint of Parmesan – not too much, though, because it will detract from the wonderful tomato flavour.
5. When serving this sauce, it is a good idea to give the pasta 1 minute less cooking time than you usually would, then return it to the saucepan after draining and give 1 more minute while you mix in the sauce.