Hi there! Sorry for the absence; our internet has been down, but I am happy to report that it is finally back! It made for a boring week, but I had a lot of time to read. I got through "The Pioneer Woman" in two days, and I have been meticulously combing through her cookbook with the rest of my time. I'm bound and determined to make those cinnamon rolls that she keeps talking about.
Saturday, I went to the farmer's market, and I spotted a big box of Roma tomatoes, and I knew that I had to have them. The trouble was that another lady wanted them too, and she spotted them first. Luckily her mom talked her out of them; I really did have better plans for them anyways. So I grabbed them, a spaghetti squash, and a cabbage.
The second I got home, I got to work. Here's how I made my spaghetti sauce:
Source: Me :)
20 or so Roma tomatoes
1/2 to 3/4 cup red wine
2-3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes*
3/4 teaspoon dried basil - you can use fresh too*
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano*
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse your newly purchased tomatoes and cut an X into the end opposite the stem. As you are doing this, get a large pot of water boiling. Drop the tomatoes in, and let them boil for a minute. While they are boiling, grab a large bowl, fill it with ice and water, and set it close to the tomatoes. When your timer sounds, put the hot tomatoes into the ice bath. This will make the skin super easy to peel off.
Continue to boil the tomatoes in shifts until all of your tomatoes have been boiled for the minutes. Drain out the water and grab a trash can. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes... warning this is about to get messy! Then take a sharp knife and cut off the stems. Cut the tomatoes vertically and discard the squishy insides, seeds and any core that remains. And that's the tricky part! It's really not tricky, just kind of time consuming and you'll be up to your elbows in tomato juice, but it's good for your skin...I think.
In the same pot that you boiled the tomatoes in, add the olive oil and onions. Let them cook until they begin to soften, about five minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Then take the onions, garlic and tomatoes, and put them in a blender. I hate chunky tomato sauce, so I blend it to a pulp, but it you enjoy your sauce with a little more texture, pulse it until you have the consistency that you enjoy.
Pour the newly formed sauce back into the pot, add the red wine, sugar and all the seasoning. Let it simmer for a long time... like two hours. Your sauce may look thin at first, but it will thicken beautifully; the longer it simmers, the thicker your sauce will be and the sweeter and more full flavored it will become.
You can easily add meatballs or brown some ground beef to make a meat sauce. I know this takes quite a bit of time, but it really just tastes better than canned tomato sauce. It's easy work, and your taste buds will thank you!!
*Feel free to change the amount or even the spices themselves. If you don't even like a hint of spice, leave out the red pepper flakes. Do whatever sounds good to you!*