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Nothing says ‘summer’ like tomatoes, so make this dish before the seasons change
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Nothing says ‘summer’ like tomatoes, so make this dish before the seasons change

From the Recipe roundup: A few more fall meals to try this week series
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Roma tomatoes are perfect for a thick sauce.

Nothing tastes better than a fresh tomato right from the garden or farmers market, and now’s the perfect time of year to indulge.

The varieties of tomatoes are almost endless, available in different shapes, sizes and colors. Beefsteak tomatoes are substantial in size and perfect for frying and baking. Green tomatoes are perfect for salsas, relishes and broiling. Smaller varieties include cherry, grape, vine-ripened and yellow pear. Vine-ripened tomatoes, as their name suggests, have ripened on the vine.

If you see tomatoes labeled “heirloom,” it generally means the variety is very old; the seeds are often 50-plus years old, if you can believe it! They have been protected and kept in their original state in a particular region

For this recipe, I’m using Roma tomatoes; they’re meatier, less seedy and perfect for cooking up into a thick red sauce. Although peeling tomatoes is not necessary to make a tomato sauce, it does remove their tough skin, leaving the sauce smooth. Peeling may seem intimidating, but it’s not. Make a crisscross slit at the top of the tomato, add them to boiling water for 30 seconds, quickly cool them, then push back the skin starting at the top where you made the slits.

Fresh Tomato Basil Sauce

Serves 4 to 6

  • 25 plum tomatoes
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 cup packed fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Fill a large bowl with ice water.

2. Make a small crisscross incision at the base of the tomatoes. Add tomatoes to boiling water for 30 seconds. Drain and cool tomatoes in the bowl of ice water. When cool enough to handle, peel skin, slice tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds.

3. In a food processor, puree the tomatoes with garlic, basil and oil.

4. In a pot, bring the tomato puree, red pepper flakes and salt to a boil and simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes or until the desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper.

(Kary Osmond is a Canadian recipe developer and former television host of the popular daytime cooking show “Best Recipes Ever.” Her easy recipes include helpful tips to guide you along the way, and her love of plant-based cooking offers healthy alternatives to some of your favorite dishes. Learn more at karyosmond.com.)

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