With my bounty of my home-grown tomatoes and Doug’s love for red pasta sauces; I have been searching for a tomato sauce, NOT requiring me to sweat over a hot stove all day long. So, imagine my elation when I discovered a recipe that I can use my home-grown tomatoes and the Crock Pot! The Crock Pot below can be programmed to start cooking while you are at work AND you can carry it to a dinner party!
Because this was an new recipe and it would just be my husband and I eating it, I cut this recipe in half for this test run. The recipe below will render approximately 13 cups of sauce. The recipe really was simple to do and I used 4 lbs of tomatoes for us. I did a few alterations, which I will highlight in RED. Please let me know if you try this and make any changes to benefit your family’s tastes.
Wash all your fresh tomatoes. Cut a small “X” on the bottom of each tomato. Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil in a large stockpot. Add tomatoes, boil for 30-60 seconds or until you can see the peel beginning to separate from the tomato flesh. Remove each tomato with a slotted spoon. I placed a large colander in a large bowl containing ice water. Place each tomato in the colander, in the ice water to stop the cooking the process. Only after a minute of the tomatoes sitting in the ice bath, they will be ready to drain.
Peel tomatoes and discard skin. Cut tomatoes in half, removing the tough core. Gently squeeze to remove large seeds, but removal of all seeds is not necessary. Coarsely chop tomatoes.
Place tomatoes in slow cooker. Mix in the next 7 ingredients
Cover and cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours or until tomatoes have broken down and are very soft. I cooked mine 5 hours and the tomatoes were completely broken down. Cool for 20 minutes. Stir in basil and thyme.
Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth or process mixture, in batches in a food process or blender. Season with salt and pepper.
I placed mine in the wonderful investment of a Vitamix Creations II 64 oz. 13-in-1 Variable Speed.
Because I had cut the recipe in half, I was able to do the
mixing in one batch, 10 seconds is all it took.
It is ready to pour over your favorite cooked pasta.
Recipe is courtesy of Southern Living Magazine, which recommends freezing the sauce in 3-cup portions, which is the amount of sauce found in most bottled products. Make sure the jar is freezer safe, or use freezer bags. Remember to allow for expansion as the sauce freezes.
I sauteed some pancetta so Doug would have a protein in his sauce. Once my pasta was done, I drained the pasta and returned it to the hot dutch oven pot I had boiled the pasta in. I poured over the prepared sauce and dropped in the cooked pancetta.
Garnished with basil and Parmesan Cheese, then served.