Tomato Sauce

22 Aug

This classic sauce of tomatoes is made all over the south where tomatoes grow in abundance. The juicy pulp of fresh garden tomatoes is cooked down in a generous amount of olive oil and garlic to make a thick sauce than can be used immediately or bottled and preserved. It is one of the traditional ways to preserve the summer and autumn tomato harvest for winter. I make several different types of tomato sauce but this is the basis for most of them. In France this would be called tomato coulis and in Italy it is sometimes called sugo or salsa.

  • 2 kg of tomato pulp , skinned, deseeded and roughly chopped.
  • 1 tsp crushed or chopped garlic
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • cracked black pepper to taste

Prepare the tomatoes by peeling and roughly chopping the flesh and discarding the stalks. Put a large pan on the stove and pour a generous layer of olive oil over the bottom. Throw in the garlic and fry until the arma rises then add the salt, pepper and then tomatoes. Cook for 30 minutes or so until the sauce is rich and thick.

Variations 

Keeping the sauce simple like this gives it greater flexibility but I do like to make a few batches with added herbs and other flavourings to make a variety of pasta ready sauces. For a mediterranean sauce add a herb bundle of:1 sprig rosemary, 2 sprigs thyme, 2 Bay leaves tied together with the tomatoes and remove before bottling. For a tomato and basil sauce stir in chopped fresh basil 1 minute before the end of cooking.

Preserving 
This sauce will keep well in the fridge for a week or it can be preserved by pouring into sterilised bottles and heat processing for 15-20 minutes or it can be frozen in bags or tubs. It is a very useful pantry preserve to have on hand to knock out a quick plate of pasta or for use in Italian, Greek, Spanish, Turkish or French dishes requiring a tomato sauce.
See How ro preserve by Heat Processing.


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2 Responses to “Tomato Sauce”

  1. gra 06/03/2011 at 13:26 #

    thanks for all the info!I have honey jars-ie lids that dont have air release lids(basic small jam jars).I have followed your recipe and just about to heat seal them.Will they still keep?Plus wont they crack if I put hot jars into cool water to seal or do I just wait till they are cool?Thanks !

  2. Laura 06/03/2011 at 16:32 #

    I have never tried to use jars that are not meant for heat processing so I cannot recommend it. Best not to put hot jars in cold water heat the water first or let the jars cool. If you can get lids with a dimple in the top those are the ones that can be used in heat processing the dimple should be depressed and stay depressed indicating a good seal.

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