The forecast for the week declared the first snowfall in the higher mountain ranges (still to happen). Overnight, and after a number of hours of cold wet weather, the tips of the mountains that loom over our little big town were bursting with the varying shades of fall, even moreso than last week. It was almost as if the trees knew they would soon be covered in snow and needed to show off for at least one day. It made for a beautiful view during my run this morning. I repeatedly pointed my little one (cuddled up and mostly dry in her jogger) toward the west range, showing her how beautiful her hometown is in October. We even took a drive up the canyon and filled our home with multi-colored boughs of oak, maple and aspen.
With the mixture of general conference weekend (continually the most inspiring weekend of the year), raspberry picking, putting up halloween decor, making warm food (soup!) to fill our bellies, knit sweaters, socks, and closed toed shoes, it's official. Fall, how I've missed you.
This tomato sauce is pretty versatile, I use it fresh in the summer and when it gets lovely and cool and crisp, I set it in a pan over heat and let it cook and reduce and intensify. I would assume this pasta sauce also cans well, if you're into that sort of thing, and if you have enough tomatoes. Someday I will be cursing the tomato gods for an insane abundance, but until then I'll be mooching off friends and neighbors, marking the pages in my seed catalog, and tending to my small herb garden on the patio.
I especially love this sauce because it doesn't require a hot bath to remove the tomato skins. You know, the "boil the tomatoes a little bit then transfer them to an ice bath where the ice melts within minutes and you burn yourself multiple times in the process" hot bath? I can't be the only person who loathes the seemingly (and with this recipe definitely) pointless skin peeling process..
I am excited that Jacob's Cove will be providing the best tomatoes (seriously, the best) through the winter months. I am looking forward to eating a lot of spaghetti, dried tomatoes on homemade pizza, and roasted tomato soup. You can sign up for a winter CSA share here if you're interested (and local), they're always taking new members.
blender tomato sauce
a couple large fresh tomatoes
a few cloves of garlic
half an onion
a handful of fresh basil
Add everything into a blender, blend until smooth. Place in a saucepan, bring over medium heat and let it come to a low boil. Let it boil for a minute or two, stirring constantly, until the sauce changes to a bright red color. Reduce the heat to a simmer and let the sauce cook, stirring occasionally until it has thickened. Taste the sauce and adjust seasonings. Add more salt if it's meh, add more sweetener if it's too sharp (vinegar-y), add some browned/cooked meat if you're feeling carnivorous, add some booze if it's what you're into.
When the sauce is done, use in pastas, on pizza, mixed with rice and veggies, lasagna, etc.
If you are using this sauce fresh (not reducing over heat), use 1-2 garlic cloves, 1/2 to 1 full large shallot instead of the onion, and smaller tomatoes. You may want to sauté the garlic and shallot in a bit of olive oil before adding to the blender. Blend the sauteed onion and garlic with the fresh tomatoes and other ingredients until smooth. Season to taste. It may end up being significantly wet. To thicken it, set a fine mesh sieve over a large bowl, pour the sauce into the sieve and allow a little bit of the liquid to run off. Thickening the fresh sauce is helpful if you're wanting to use it on things like breads, raw pizzas, etc.