Dressed Pasta

Fresh Tomato Sauce
North American

Serves:
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
8 pasta  
**
1-1/2 hr  
Yes

This fresh tasting tomato sauce recipe uses fresh ripe tomatoes. Preferably these are home grown, or from a farmer's market, but I have had success with certain types of tomato from specialty produce markets here in Southern California. Supermarket tomatoes are generally unsatisfactory. See Note-1.








7-1/2
7
3
3
3
1/4
2
3
tt
tt
#
oz
oz
cl
T
c



Tomatoes (1)
Onion
Celery
Garlic
Parsley
Olive Oil, ExtV
Bay Leaf
Thyme sprig (2)
Salt
Pepper
Prep
  1. Peel the TOMATOES. One minute in rapidly boiling water, then chill in cold water, core and pull off the peel.
  2. Dice Tomatoes 1/2 inch or less. Keep the juice with them - much of the flavor is in the juice.
  3. Chop ONION small. Chop CELERY small. Mix.
  4. Crush GARLIC and chop small.
  5. Chop PARSLEY small.
Run
  1. In a heavy bottomed pot or a 5 quart sauté pan, heat Oil and fry Onion mix over moderate heat, stirring until the onions start to color.
  2. Stir in Garlic and continue to fry stirring until garlic starts to color (and stick to the pan).
  3. Stir in Tomatoes, Bay Leaves and Thyme. Bring to a boil and simmer down, stirring frequently. Start on fairly high heat and lower the heat as the liquid boils out. You want to still have some free liquid when you finish because if the tomatoes get too dry they lose their fresh flavor.
  4. Pull out the Bay Leaves and stems from the Thyme Sprigs. Ladle out about 2 cups of Sauce and run it in a mini-prep food processor or similar until puréed. Stir it back into the sauce. Of course you can do more or even all depending on the texture you want, but 2 cups is what I like.
  5. Bring Sauce back to a simmer. Season to taste with Salt and Pepper. Stir in the Parsley and simmer a couple minutes more.
  6. Serve - generally with pasta of choice. For the coarse texture I like, I prefer medium shells, conchiglioni or other shapes that will scoop up lumps of tomato well (the photo shows conchiglioni). Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Stir in just enough sauce to coat the pasta very lightly to keep it from sticking.. Serve with a big dollop of sauce on top, or pass a bowl of sauce separately.
NOTES:
  1. Tomatoes:   Generally for sauces you're better off with canned tomatoes, but a nice fresh sauce can be made with fresh tomatoes, if they are are good enough. They must be very ripe, even a little over-ripe, and must have good flavor. I have achieved a good sauce with large size cluster tomatoes when they are at their peak (generally when the price is lowest). I set them out on the counter for about 4 days to continue ripening before using them.
  2. Thyme:   This could also be other herbs of choice, fresh or dried. Oregano, Marjoram and Savory are good.
  3. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar="as required tt=to taste
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