Tuesday, August 4, 2009

A Taste of Summer

There are a lot of things I love about summer. Eating summer produce is very high on the list. Eating summer tomatoes is even higher on the list. Everyone has their favorite: an heirloom, Brandywine, Green Zebra, Yellow Pear, Roma, Beefsteak and more. But in my mind, you can't beat the cherry tomato. A good cherry tomato is as sweet as candy. They are wonderful with just about everything or with nothing. They are perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Or for a snack right from the garden. I can't get enough of cherry tomatoes. They are one of my tastes of summer.
So what do you do with a whole bowl full of cherry tomatoes, fresh picked from your mother's garden? You make the simplest and best tasting marinara sauce you've ever had. If the sun had a taste, this would be it. It is fresh, and light and my favorite pasta sauce of all time. I love it. You will too.

I make this sauce every summer and it couldn't be easier. It freezes well too. You'll want to make extra. Here's what you do:
Warm some olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot.
Dice a couple cloves of garlic--more if you want it extra garlicky.
Saute the garlic in the olive oil until it softens. Do not burn it.
You can add some red peeper flakes to the garlic for a little spice. I used 1/2 a teaspoon.
Toss in the tomatoes. You do not need to do anything with them other than take the stem off.
Stir the tomatoes a bit and then let them sit in the pan until they start to split.
Once they begin splitting, use a potato masher to crush the tomatoes. Careful, the juice will go flying!
You don't have to pulverize them. Just release the juices.
Once you've mashed most of them, let them cook down at a simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
Taste to see if you want to add salt and pepper. I also add a touch of sugar. I find it cuts the acidity.
Once it is done cooking, you can add fresh basil.
Spoon it over hot pasta and enjoy!
(This recipe is adapted from a recipe I found in Martha Stewart Living magazine about 9 or 10 years ago)
The sauce is a bit thin. I use a wide noodle, or even orrechetti, to catch all the delicious juices. I also like to add sauteed summer squash. Of course, I like to add squash to just about everything. Just ask my kids. I torment them.

But this sauce is so good that even William, my very skeptical eater, enjoyed it. Seeds, skins and all. He said it was good. And so do I.


Erin McDonald said...

This brings to mind the sad part of my life that does not intail a garden, YET!!! Praise the LORD for that little word! Next year I will not only have a garden but I will compost and FRESH FOODS AGAIN!!! so if you find a favorite tomato seed me some seeds so I can try them out here! Or even letus and melons!!! I can't wait!!! So since I have to I will just day dream of your bountyful harvest! Love you! thanks for the yummy idea!

Shannon said...

Mmmm... tomatoes. I want to grow my own also. I make a sauce similar to this, but I put in a little onion and sliced Kalamata olives and let the tomatoes stew a little. Kalamatas are a little on the expensive side, but have a unique flavor and are soooo worth it. I have never tried adding squash. I'll have to try that next time.