This is my go-to sauce. It is simple, allowing the gorgeous taste of the heirloom tomatoes to shine. It's got no added sugar, and just a dash of balsamic for an added depth of flavour. It still preserves well because of the natural acidity of the tomatoes. I think the original recipe said it can last for 3 months in the refrigerator, but that was without using a canner/processor, which I did this time, so I'm sure it will last longer.
Reduced to a rich and semi-thick sauce, this makes an excellent base for pasta sauces, such as bolognaise, or for adding to soups and stews. We even use it as a pizza base sauce.
- 5kg heirloom tomatoes, skinned and deseeded
- 12 - 18 cloves of garlic
- two bunches of fresh herbs (e.g. basil or oregano)
- 3 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 2/3 cup Olive oil
- Drop the heirloom tomatoes in boiling water for a few minutes, and then into an ice bath to split the skins so that they can peel of easily (once cooled)
- De-seed the tomatoes as well as you can, reserving any juices
- Chop the tomatoes in your food processor.* This time I had a food mill to do steps 2 and 3 for me, and although churning the mill was still hard work, it was far less of a mission than the manual process I did last year!
- Add the juice and chopped tomatoes (I ended up with just over 3l of tomato) to a heavy pot or jam pan (I'm so super lucky to have a brand new maslin pan to my collection for this year's preserving missions!) and add the crushed garlic cloves.
- Add the olive oil and bring it all to a boil, boiling for 5 minutes
- Reduce heat and simmer for around 2 hours, or until the sauce is thickening up, and the olive oil and tomato sauce separates. At this point my sauce reduced to around 1.8l
- Add the herbs, balsamic vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper
- Bring back to the boil for around 5 minutes.
- Pour into sterilized jars and continue with canning, or refrigerate after cooling.