Blog Update!
For those of you not following me on Facebook, as of the Summer of 2019 I've moved to Central WA, to a tiny mountain town of less than 1,000 people.

I will be covering my exploits here in the Cascades, as I try to further reduce my impact on the environment. With the same attitude, just at a higher altitude!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Homemade pizza sauce

In spite of my San Marzano tomatoes getting a bad case of blossom end rot, I managed to salvage enough other tomatoes to make a huge vat of homemade pizza sauce from fresh tomatoes. I made enough for 6 jars of sauce that I put in our chest freezer. I'm hoping to add more as the rest of the tomatoes ripen. It's been such a late year around here for sunshine and the rain just started again, but I'm still hopeful.

My recipe is pretty simple: olive oil, garlic, tomatoes (peeled and chopped), bay leaves, salt, pepper and fresh oregano. I heat up the garlic with the olive oil (so the garlic doesn't burn) until it's fragrant and then throw in the tomatoes, bay leaves and salt. I simmer until the desired consistency is reached and then add the fresh oregano and pepper.

Since the tomatoes I used were a weird combination of Brandywine and Black Prince the sauce was pretty juicy, so I ended up simmering it down for about an hour to remove a lot of the moisture. I then added a touch of cornstarch to thicken things up and it came out perfectly.

The best thing is the only ingredients that didn't come from my garden (or someone else's I know) is the olive oil, salt and pepper. That's the most satisfying part. Oh, yeah, that and it's orders of magnitude better on my homemade pizzas than making it from canned tomatoes!


Unknown said...

That looks delicious! I'm so jealous, most of my tomatoes didn't ripen this year. =)

Anonymous said...

The rain started here last night too in Oregon, but it's sunny and warm now...I keep hedging about going out and picking everything! I do need to get out in the garden tonight after work and assess the situation!

Anonymous said...

This was a bad year for tomatoes in this part of the world (I live in the same city you do). The spring was cold and it took summer a while to arrive in earnest. Plus this climate is conducive to tomato diseases.

I suggest dumping any tomato that is prone to blossom end rot. I have tried liming my soil, but most of my tomatoes were still prone to it. It's a big enough risk here that I think it's worth avoiding tomatoes prone to it.

I'm keeping Matina for a salad tomato, but it was so prolific that I had to use the tomatoes in sauce to keep up with production. Maybe if I have time tomorrow I'll can some as tomato sauce. Instead of cooking the sauce down, I simply add some commercial tomato paste, which I buy in huge quantities anyway. It makes pretty good sauce with homegrown tomatoes.

Next year I will try a tomato variously known as "Andes", "Andine cornu", "Horn of the Andes", "Andenhorn", and a lot of similar names. It is popular in Europe and has a reputation for being vigorous, disease-resistant, dependable for cooler climates, and "meaty". It might make a good sauce tomato.

I'm working on a complete list of tomatoes that perform well here in terms of disease-resistance, vagaries of the weather, and good taste.

Gardener's delight was fine, but it is so prolific I can not keep up with it, even if we eat salad with tomatoes in it every meal. I guess I could throw them into the tomato sauce but it will be tedious to cut them. I am thinking of replacing it with a small cherry type that I could grow in a hanging basket as an ornamental-edible. Then the production would be scaled down closer to what we would actually be able to use fresh, while freeing up space in the garden for tomatoes easier to process. The problem would be that they won't be as sweet. Cherry types tend to be a little sour and/or bland, especially those on dwarf plants suitable for hanging baskets.

I'm also planning to do strawberries in hanging baskets. I have pink-flowered strawberries from imported seed, that unlike the ornamental strawberry-potenilla hybrids (such as "Lipstick" and "Pink Panda"), bear a fairly decent crop (having been backcrossed a bunch of times). They produce small strawberries but they fruit readily. Quite ornamental with their soft pink blossoms not to mention the fruit.

Christy said...

When I make sauce I end up with so little it drives me crazy. I hadn't thought of using corn starch to thicken it. That's a good idea.

Johanna in NZ said...

Hello, that looks great. I was wondering how you freeze the sauce. Can you freeze it in glass jars?
I'm a crunchy mum in NZ.

Crunchy Chicken said...

johanna - that's what I did. I froze the sauce in a mix of plastic freezer containers and glass - just make sure you leave headspace for expansion when it freezes.

Anonymous said...

My first tomato this year had blossom end rot, so I added powdered eggshell to the soil (lots of it) and the rest of my tomatoes came out great. The rot is caused by a lack of calcium apparantly. Just my two cents.