- 1 h 30 min
Simple and flavorsome, fresh tomato sauce is the Mediterranean condiment par excellence. Summer is the best time of the year for making it, especially in the months of July and August, when tomatoes have nicely ripened, bursting with flavor and aroma. To make a good sauce the first thing you need to do is to prepare some home made puree; choose whatever variety of tomato you prefer. After doing so, you'll need to flavor the puree with some finely chopped vegetables or garlic cloves and cook to your desired density! Once the fresh tomato sauce is ready you can use it to flavor lots of different types of pasta, like classic spaghetti, or even a delicious risotto!
To prepare tomato sauce, start by checking the tomatoes one by one, to made sure there aren't any spoiled ones, with bruises or spots. Wash them thoroughly 1 and remove the stalks. Cut each tomato in half lengthwise 2 and squeeze to remove the middle part with the seeds 3.
Continue in this way and collect all the tomatoes in one bowl and the juice in another 4. Below you will find lots of ideas on how to reuse it! Now place the tomatoes in a large saucepan 5 and lightly sweat them on a low flame for around 30 minutes, stirring occasionally 6.
When the tomatoes have nicely wilted 7, add salt. Stir and wait a little longer 8. Now blend a few tomatoes at a time in a tomato press, on a fine to medium setting 9.
Place the puree in a bowl 10. In the meantime, finely chop the carrot 11 and the onion 12.
Add a drizzle of oil and then the finely chopped vegetables to the saucepan you cooked the tomatoes in 13. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Now add the tomato puree 14 and cook for another 30 minutes on a low flame, stirring occasionally 15.
Make sure the sauce is the right density 16 and place it in a container 17; add a basil leaf 18 and use it as you like!
If you prefer to use jars for storing in the pantry, proceed as follows:
-use sterilized jars, or sterilize them by boiling them as explained by the Ministry of Health in the link at the bottom of the recipe.
-Fill the jars with the hot tomato puree, to 2-3 cm from the top. If you prefer you can add some thoroughly washed basil leaves.
-Close the jars tightly. -Place them in a saucepan with hot water and leave to boil.
- If you use half pint jars, leave for 30 minutes.
- If you use pint jars, leave for 35 minutes after bringing to the boil.
- If you use quart jars, leave for 40 minutes after bringing to the boil.
-Drain the jars, be sure not to scald yourself, and leave to cool. Make sure they have been vacuum-sealed before placing them in the pantry. There is another method for bottling puree: the cold method. You can fill sterilized jars with cold puree. -Place them in a saucepan with water and bring to the boil. - Refer to the same times as above once the water is boiling.
Fresh tomato sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. Alternatively it can also be frozen.
If you opt for the pasteurization method, you can store the jars in the pantry for up to 3 months. We prefer not to indicate a longer conservation time, as home pasteurization is never a 100% safe method
Use the left over tomato water to dampen freselle or bruschette.
To prepare fresh tomato sauce, buy tomatoes that are free from bruises, firm, but red and nicely ripened; the best time of the year for buying them is July and August.
You can choose from lots of tomato varieties: vine, bunch, round or date, fiaschetto or prunill.
For a denser puree, leave to thicken on the stove to the desired consistency, before use or pasteurization.
If you want to store the tomato sauce, for the correct preparation of home made preserves, please refer to the Ministry of Health guidelines in your Country. This list of rules contains information on kitchen and personal hygiene, the use of tools, on how to handle ingredients, pasteurization and storage, so as to avoid any health risks.