Nature and blight may have taken half my tomatoes from me this year, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be taking advantage of the saucy composition of the survivors!
We’ve gathered what we could (10 pounds or so from my garden), 40 pounds from a farm stand, 5 pounds from the farm (and some basil). With carrots, onions and peppers from my garden and some other stuff, we’ve made vats of sauce that we hope will carry our two families deeper into the winter than they did last year!
Here’s the way it works. We made variations of this recipe (and actually have more still left to do), but this is basically it.
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 stalk celery
2 ounces olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons capers, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup white wine
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
In a sieve over a medium non-reactive saucepot, strain the tomatoes of their juice into the sauce pot. Add the sherry vinegar, sugar, red pepper flakes, oregano, and basil to the tomato juice. Stir and cook over high heat. Once bubbles begin to form on the surface, reduce to a simmer. Allow liquid to reduce by 1/2 or until liquid has thickened to a loose syrup consistency.
Set the tomatoes aside. (We kept the seeds and skins, but you can do away with them if you prefer.)
Cut carrot, onion, and celery into uniform sizes and combine with olive oil and garlic in a non-reactive roasting pan over low heat. Sweat the mirepoix until the carrots are tender and the onion becomes translucent, 15 to 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes and capers to the roasting pan.
Place roasting pan on the middle rack of the oven and broil for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Tomatoes should start to brown slightly on edges with light caramelization. Remove the pan from the broiler. Place the pan over 2 burners on the stove. Add the white wine to the tomatoes and cook for 2 to 3 more minutes over medium heat.
Put the tomatoes into a deep pot or bowl and add the reduced tomato liquid to the tomatoes. Blend to desired consistency and adjust seasoning. We used a wand blender. Repeat several million times. Can the sauce as you normally would.