There are few things tastier than tomato sauce for pasta (or pizza) made from vine-ripened fresh tomatoes. Normally, fresh ripe tomatoes are hard to come by. But our garden is bursting right now with beautiful, ripe San Marzano tomatoes that we planted in spring – perfect for fresh tomato sauce.If you can’t find fresh, super-ripe tomatoes, you’re better off using high-quality canned San Marzano tomatoes than under-ripe fresh ones. This bright, fresh-tasting sauce is especially good with gnocchi.
2 lbs. Fresh, ripe tomatoes or 2 cups canned, imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
5 Tbsp butter
1 medium onion, peeled and cut in half
Salt to taste
1. If using fresh tomatoes, prepare them for making the sauce as follows: Wash the tomatoes in cold water and cut them in half, lengthwise. Put the halved tomatoes into a large covered skillet or saucepan and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. (If using canned tomatoes, skip to Step 3.)
2. Set a food mill fitted with the disk with the largest holes over a large bowl. Mill the fresh tomatoes, saving the juice and discarding the seeds and skins.
3. Put the prepared, fresh tomatoes or canned tomatoes into a saucepan along with the butter, onion, and salt to taste. Cook at a very steady, slow simmer for 45 minutes, stirring from time to time.
4. When the sauce is the correct consistency – not too thin, not too thick – taste and correct for salt.
5. Discard the onion and serve the tomato sauce with your favorite pasta.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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