One of my friends asked if I was using the same tomato pictures over and over and over again. The truth is, the tomatoes are all ripening at once and I have been picking a colander full about every other day! I processed 4 quarts, gave many away and still have more than two people can eat! Sunday’s basket full led to a fabulous batch of fresh Marinara sauce. I am sure there will be additional batches to freeze and enjoy this coming winter.
I am certain every cook who has a patch of tomatoes has a fresh tomato sauce recipe. I think it is something that must be customized to your own taste. I “winged” it this time, but I will repeat this process, as it was absolutely delicious. (The green tomatoes are “Green Zebra” heirloom tomatoes. They are not unripe tomatoes. The yellow-orange tomato is Jaune Flamme – a new variety to us, that is really yummy.)
Laura’s Fresh Tomato Marinara
6 cloves Garlic
1 large diced onion
1 large diced Carrot
1 stalk diced Celery
Handful of fresh chopped Basil – about 1/2 cup
Fresh chopped Oregano – about 1/4 cup
Red Pepper flakes – about 1 teaspoon
Tomato paste – I used 3 small cans – you will need to judge this based on the desired thickness of your sauce and the water content of your tomatoes.
1 large can whole San Marzano tomatoes (I thought I needed additional color and depth, so I threw in the canned tomatoes.)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Fresh tomatoes – about 8 pounds, blanched, cooled, peeled and chopped*
In a very large pot, sauté the onions, garlic, carrots and celery in about 1/3 cup of olive oil, until softened. Always add the garlic last, to avoid burning it.
Add in the peeled, chopped fresh tomatoes.
Bring to a slow simmer, breaking down the tomatoes with a spoon. Add the tomato paste, canned tomatoes, herbs, and seasonings. Cover and simmer about 2 hours. I used the immersion blender near the end of the cooking time, to ensure all tomatoes were broken down.
Italian Style Turkey Meatballs
Inspired by Katie Workman’s recipe in Food and Wine Magazine
4 large eggs
3/4 cup whole milk
2 cups panko bread crumbs (use panko – they produce a lighter, fluffier meatball)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
1 tablespoon olive oil (ground turkey can be a little dry)
Kosher salt and Freshly ground pepper, to taste
3 pounds ground turkey
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the eggs and milk. Stir in the breadcrumbs, garlic, parley, oregano, basil, olive oil and cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Add the ground turkey and mix well until all ingredients are combined.
Heat a generous amount of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Form the meat mixture into 1 1/2 – 2 inch balls and place in the sauté pan. Brown the meatballs on all sides. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment. Bake for 15 minutes at 350′. Wipe the oil from the sauté pan, return the meatballs and smother in marinara sauce. Serve over your favorite pasta. We used our local La Pasta’s spinach pappardelle.
This was our first time making these meatballs. They are absolutely delicious and will become a staple around here. Next time, I will double the recipe so I can freeze extras for future use!
*I am sure you know the easiest way to peel a tomato is to blanch it in boiling water for about 30 seconds, and then drop it into an ice water bath. The skin will slide right off! Cut an “X” in the bottom of the tomato before dropping it in the simmering water.
Dave didn’t know I had onions in the garden! Walla Walla sweets of course. You should have seen his face when I reached into the ground and yanked them up! The basil is also growing like crazy. Pesto is forthcoming.