New Meal Monday: Homemade Tomato Sauce

When you're a small, family business, sometimes its hard to separate work from personal life.  This post is undoubtedly one of the more personal "recipe" stories we've told. 

Yesterday, our daughter turned one year old.
You may be asking yourself, "what does that have to do with a tomato sauce recipe?"

Well, about a year ago our little garden was overflowing with delicious, ripening tomatoes.  My wife's due date was August 30th, so our plan was at some point before the baby's arrival to make a batch of sauce and make use of all those tomatoes.  This way, we could freeze some and we'd have some quick and easy dinners for the early weeks and months of parenthood. 
So one Friday night, about 11 days before we were due, my wife was showing signs that the baby may be coming sooner that we thought.  Everything we had heard and read, had us believing we were in for a long weekend.  We decided after an early dinner, my wife would relax on the couch, while I harvested the garden and made the sauce.  Well, as I was cooking, it started becoming evident that not only did we not have the whole weekend, but we weren't making through the night!
As things were unfolding before me, I realized that if we were to return from the hospital with our new baby--and the kitchen sink was full of dishes and pans covered in tomato sauce--my wife might actually kill me.  So, for approximately an hour or so I would alternate between frantically finishing the sauce and cleaning up the kitchen as quickly as possible, while regularly stopping to sprint up the stairs to support my wife in any way I could as she worked through contractions.  

Long story short: In the early hours of the morning our beautiful daughter was born.  Our kitchen was clean, and the sauce was delicious! We didn't waste a single tomato; and one year later, it seems our daughter loves tomato sauce (based solely on how much pizza she ate on her first birthday!)

What you'll need:

  • 5 pounds tomatoes
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 garlic clove, halved
  • 1 basil sprig
  • 1 bay leaf

How you'll do it:

  1. Cut tomatoes in half and grate tomato flesh into a bowl, discarding skins (prior to grating scoop and discard seeds if desired).
  2. Put tomato in a saute pan over high heat. Add salt, olive oil, tomato paste, garlic, basil and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to a brisk simmer.
  3. Simmer till sauce reduces by almost half, stirring occasionally, to produce about 2 1/2 cups medium-thick sauce, 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust salt.
*Will keep in fridge for 5 day. You can store it in freezer after that!