Here’s a standby recipe I use whenever we find ourselves with extra tomatoes (homegrown or farmer’s market purchase). This is adapted from the Alton Brown “Pantry Friendly Tomato Sauce” recipe using fresh ingredients and no refined sugar. The recipe highlights the flavor nuances and sweetness of heirloom tomatoes and can be done without the added honey. This sauce works great for meatballs, zucchini ribbons, pizza sauce, or anywhere else you would use a spicy marinara.
3-5T EVOO (the cheap stuff)
Generous amounts of sea salt and crushed black pepper
5lbs tomatoes (cut in halves, seeded and cored but try to preserve any juice if possible)
2 heads garlic, minced
3T Capers, drained
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 handfuls of Italian Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme, Sage) either bundled with cooking twine or chopped fine
- 1-2 t red pepper flakes
- 1T honey
- 1/4C Red Wine Vinegar
- 1C Red Wine (the cheap stuff) + reserve an additional ¼C for deglazing
- Non-reactive Saute Pan that can handle broiler heat (I like to use a 12” stainless steel Saute Pan)
- 4-6Q Non-reactive sauce pan (again I like to use stainless steel sauce pan)
- Stick Blender
- Heat sauté pan on medium. When pan is hot (water drops might sizzle but should not dance or it is too hot) Add 2-3 T EVOO and sweat the mire-poix (onions, carrots and celery) for about 20 minutes until all bits are soft and onions are translucent.
- In the saucepan, combine the syrup ingredients and aromatics over medium-high heat and reduce by half (about 30 minutes). Remove from heat when done.
- Preheat oven broiler if necessary. Lay the tomato halves skin-side-up on top of the mire-poix, then add the garlic and capers. Place the pan under the broiler and turn the tomatoes with tongs every 5 minutes until the tomatoes have a nice char.
- Add the broiled tomatoes, capers and mire-poix to the syrup pan. Deglaze the Saute Pan with the reserved red wine, scraping up any charred bits and add to the sauce pan.
- Blend with a stick blender until desired consistency (I like to use the chopping blade first, then finish with the blending blade). You may wish to continue cooking on medium-low for 15 minutes to make the sauce smoother.