There’s a lot of squash in my life right now. Summer squash, pattypan squash, zucchini all make their way courtesy of my friend A to my kitchen.
Two weeks ago, I had a bumper carrot crop. And of course, I made carrot soup. I used this recipe from the original Moosewood cookbook, and OH my gosh I cannot stop thinking about this soup. I spiced it with raw ginger and left out the dairy and it was absolutely perfect. As in I want to eat this soup until my skin turns vaguely orange because of all the beta carotene perfect.
Last week, I got tomatoes. Not a lot of tomatoes, just enough that I had a few to munch on and could make a decent pot of sauce. And I’m even writing up the recipe!
When I was in grad school, my roommate Sarah was (well, is) Italian and a great cook. She taught me to make sauce from scratch. Before this, my pasta sauce recipe was to brown and drain some meat and mix it into a can of pasta sauce, which is easy and tasty but not really anything special. I sometimes still make sauce this way but when I want a little extra something, I use Sarah’s method.
Sarah’s Tomato Sauce
One or two big tomatoes or one big tomato and a handful of cherry tomatoes
One nice big onion or a couple of smaller onions, diced
Two or three (or three or four) heads of garlic, peeled and diced or run through your garlic press
One large can of crushed tomatoes (I like Pastene)
Spices: basil, oregano, parsley, red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper
1. Peel your tomatoes!
2. In a big pot (in my life, the same pot I used to peel the tomatoes with the water dumped out), saute the onions and garlic in EVOO with a little bit of butter until they’re translucent and fragrant.
3. Grab a peeled tomato. CRUSH IT WITH YOUR FIST into the big pot. Be careful of flying tomato seeds. You could also slice open the tomato and remove the seeds like a normal person, but I don’t mind them and really, it’s very satisfying to crush tomatoes. Let this cook for a bit.
4. Add the large can of crushed tomatoes
5. Pour some dried basil into the palm of your hand. Then add some more, until there’s a roughly a tablespoon in your palm. With your other hand, powderize the basil into the pot. Do the same with the oregano and the parsley.
6. Add some salt and pepper to taste, and some red pepper flakes. You could also add some Parmesan cheese.
7. Add a tablespoon or so of brown sugar. Taste and tweak the spices to suit your palette.
8. Cover and let simmer on low for a good long while, stirring occasionally. I let it simmer through a couple episodes of New Girl. Just don’t burn it.
Makes one big pot of sauce. Eat over pasta with meatballs! And say mmmm a lot!