Fresh & Quick Tomato Sauce

This simple tomato sauce is great throughout the summer when you feel like a light dinner.  It’s so simple but fantastic.  You can do it in less then fifteen minutes, and with no special tools except a knife, a pot, a pan, and your own handy hands.  No fancy ingredients either, but for delicious tomatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper, oh, yes, and a bit of garlic if you like that kind of thing.  Really.  It is that easy.  From

  • 2 lbs fresh tomatoes
  • 1/4 C olive oil, more or less as you wish
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 1-2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 T balsamic or sherry vinegar, optional
  • chopped basil , optional
  • enough pasta for 4 servings

Heat a large pot of water (large enough to hold your tomatoes). With a sharp knife, make a cross mark at the bottom of each tomato. By the time you’re done the water should be hot enough. Plunge them into a pot of hot water and let sit for just a minute or so, until you can see the skin come a little loose at the cross-mark. Remove the tomatoes from the hot water and give them a quick rinse in cold water. (You can use the water to make pasta to go with your sauce, bring it back to a boil, add a big handful of salt, and then add your dried pasta of choice).

Peel the skin from the tomatoes; it should come off very easily. With the tip of a knife, cut around each green crown and remove it. Discard the crown and the skin. Squeeze the tomatoes into the sink to release excess juice and push out the seeds. Put the tomato pulp in a bowl, crushing roughly with your hands to break it up into small chunks. You’ll have a few seeds remaining, which is no big deal.

In a large sauté pan, add a bit of olive oil and chopped garlic. Add the tomato pulp into the pan. Add a big pinch of salt. Let cook for about a minute or two, until you can see the pulp breaking down and releasing the juices. Use a slotted spoon to pick up the pulp and put it into a bowl, leaving the juice in the pan. Cook down the watery juice until thick, for another couple minutes.

Check the seasoning ‐‐ if you want a richer more complex sauce you can add a bit of balsamic or sherry vinegar. The sauce is thick enough when you scrape the bottom of the pan you leave a mark. Add the pulp you removed earlier back into the pan. This will keep that fresh tomato flavor in your sauce. Stir to mix well.

Turn the heat off, add chopped basil if using and check the seasoning again, you might need a bit more salt or vinegar. And, if you’re like me, you’ll add another glug of good olive oil in it for some freshness too.