Monday, August 13, 2012

{recetas} Homegrown Tomato Sauce

As mentioned before, my husband and I were up north for a week. Before we left, we looked at our tomato plants and realized that most of the tomatoes would be ready to go while we were away. My parents came to the rescue, once again.

We had them stop by our house to check on/pick the tomatoes on our 15 tomato plants. Needless to say, we came home to a bowl full of tomatoes.

It has been rainy today, and for some reason, rainy days mean spaghetti to me. Okay, it was probably the bowl of tomatoes that were screaming "spaghetti sauce!" I performed the infamous Google search (do I say that in every post?) to find a recipe for fresh tomatoes.

As usual, I found exactly what I was looking for over at Smitten Kitchen ... easily one of my favorite cooking blogs! She had the most perfect, most customizable recipe I could find. So I went with it.

This recipe was adapted from the Smitten Kitchen.

What you need:
  • about 4 pounds of tomatoes (they don't have to be pretty!)
  • quarter cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • half of a carrot, minced
  • 1 tablespoon minced onion
  • 1 hot pepper (couldn't tell you which kind, we found the pepper plant growing the garden while weeding)
  • 1 lb ground beef
What you do:
  • First, you have to peel the tomatoes. This isn't something I have ever done before. I was concerned that it would be really difficult (it wasn't). All you have to do is boil a pot of water, then make a cross in the bottom of the tomato. Put the tomatoes in the boiling water for half a minute, then take them out a rinse with cold water. Peel and discard the skin. Easy-peasy.
  • Depending on the size of your tomatoes, halve or quarter them. Remove and discard the seeds (this took the most time!). Because I don't care for super chunky tomato sauce, I blended them. I placed half of the tomatoes in the blender and blended on low for a minute or so. I removed those and added the rest of the tomatoes.
  • While the olive oil heats in a saucepan over medium heat, mince the carrot. Combine the carrot, garlic and onion in the olive oil and cook for a bit (5ish minutes).
  • Add the tomatoes to the carrots, garlic and onion and simmer on medium/low. 35 minutes is perfect.
  • While the sauce is simmering, brown the ground beef in a skillet. Drain off any excess fat/grease.
  • With about ten minutes left on the timer, add a half teaspoon of salt and a light sprinkling of basil to the sauce. Stir it up and allow to simmer a few more minutes, then add the ground beef.
  • Serve over spaghetti noodles and enjoy!

Please excuse the iPhone pictures...I left my camera at my in-laws' house. Whoops!

While I slaved away in the kitchen, Finn made sure to rest!

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