Soon enough, all of those yummy garden tomatoes will be ripe and ready for the picking!
We’ll have more than we know what to do with! This is my first year growing my very own garden, so I went small with the tomato plants this year, and just did one plant. However, my dad does a ginormous garden every year, which yields more tomatoes than any one family could figure out what to do with.One of my favorite things to do with the garden tomatoes is make a fresh, chunky tomato sauce.
Of course, every year I make a big batch of slow-cooked marinara (get that recipe here), and can it. But by this time of year, that has all been used up, and I just don’t always have time to hang around the stove for three hours waiting for my tomato sauce to cook.
So I have a quick-cooking version that has all the flavor and character of the slow-cooked version, without the hassle.
We’re ALL short on time, but please don’t let that be your reason for not preparing fresh food for your family.
There are a number of time-saving measures that I take to keep my cooking time to a minimum during the week. One of the things that I like to do is prepare some veggies ahead of time. Pretty much every week, in one recipe or another, I’ll use diced onion, carrots and celery. They are a staple and a great flavor base for so many meals.
So to make this Fresh Chunky Tomato Sauce even quicker to prepare, I suggest chopping your veggies in advance so that all you have to do is pull them out of the fridge and dump them in the pan!
Then, the only thing you’ll have left to chop when it comes time to make your sauce is the garlic (I don’t recommend chopping that ahead of time, as it loses some potency) and your tomatoes. You can get that accomplished in the time it takes for your mirepoix (fancy schmancy Franch cooking term for onions, carrots and celery) to saute up.
Let’s talk about what else you can do with all of those awesome fresh and juicy tomatoes from the garden, eh?
For starters, you can make Tomato Paste! I promise, it’s so much easier than you think, and then you don’t have to buy the canned stuff. Learn How to Make Tomato Paste in Two Simple Steps here.
And of course, what kind of healthy living blogger would I be if I didn’t offer a salsa recipe? I have a yummy Sweet and Spicy Garden Salsa recipe that you can see here.
And if you still have tomatoes left over after all of that…..
Are you ready to see the recipe for my Fresh Chunky Tomato Sauce?
*A couple of notes:
- I leave this sauce really chunky because I like the texture. If you like it smoother, by all means puree the heck out of it. But I like the fresh feel that leaving it chunkier gives.
- You only need one piece of equipment for this sauce. I like to use my immersion blender. This is the one that I have. But you could also use a blender, you just wont have quite as much control over the texture.
- Heat your ghee (I prefer ghee because it doesn't burn like butter) in a large saute pan over medium heat on the stove top.
- Add onions, carrots, and celery to the pan and season liberally with salt. It's important to salt right when you put the veg in the pan because this will get the sweating process underway and help the veggies cook quicker.
- While your veggies saute, chop your garlic and tomatoes.
- When your onions are translucent (about 3-5 minutes), add the garlic and Italian seasoning to the pan. Let saute for another 2 minutes. This is important! You need to toast the dry spices to "wake them up", or develop the flavor.
- Add the tomatoes to the pan, and again season liberally with sea salt and pepper.
- When the tomatoes release their liquid (after about 5-8 minutes), remove your pan from the heat.
- Grab your immersion blender and puree the sauce until you reach your desired consistency.
- Return the pan to the heat, taste and adjust seasoning. Let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.
- Serve over zucchini noodles, grilled chicken, pasta, or whatever you like!
I would love to hear what you all are doing with your fresh garden tomatoes! Let me know in the comments!
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