Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tomatoes - I have a crush on you!

Every year my canned tomatoes come in many incarnations. I do whole tomatoes (nice to have, but I hate the peeling) tomato sauce, artichoke tomato sauce, ginger tomato sauce - the list goes on. This recipe though is my favorite and if I could only do one - this would be my pick. It's pure unadulterated tomato taste - just good ol' crushed tomatoes. The great thing about it is that you can then add whatever you want later to flavor it. It makes a great spaghetti sauce with some meatballs, or a pasta telephono. Basically, anything you would add plain tomato sauce to - it's perfect! If you are feeling like you want something spicy it makes a good Bucatini all'Amatriciana. This way, you can have fresh tasting tomato sauce all year long. Note: that 3rd pot is ketchup - see tomorrow's post for the recipe.

Tomato Crush makes about 6 quarts

about 20 lbs plum tomatoes- I say about because I just get a box of them and they weigh 25 lbs, give or take - not an exact science on this (San Marzano if you can find them, just don't use regular tomatoes as they have too much juice, these tend to be firmer fleshed)
couple teaspoons salt
basil leaves (optional - I put one leaf in each jar)

Wash and cut the tomatoes in half and put in a couple of large non-aluminum heavy pots, salting so that they let go of their juices. Cook until soft about 1 hour. Pass through the largest holes of a food mill (oh, the joy of not having to peel!) and then return to cleaned pots and cook for another 2-3 hours on low until it is good and thick. Pour into hot sterilized jars - you could do some quart, some smaller, and use the water bath canning method and boil for 20 min. Let cool and wait for the little popping noises - my favorite part! Ok, actually my favorite part would be opening the jar in January and making spaghetti!

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