By Patricia Zick @PCZick
The tomatoes aren’t producing enough this year for me to make my Italian sauce or salsa. The peppers aren’t doing well either. We blame it on the weather, which has been too wet here for the tomatoes liking. We are getting enough tomatoes to eat at least once a day. I’ve also managed to freeze a half dozen bags of tomatoes for sauce this winter. The sauce I make from the frozen tomatoes is our favorite.
Here’s an excerpt from From Seed to Table on how to freeze and then use those tomatoes in a few months – if you can wait that long.
I asked my Facebook friends if they knew anything about freezing tomatoes, and I received some interesting suggestions. But after canning dozens of quarts of sauces, I wanted simple. I washed the whole tomatoes and let them dry. Then I placed them on a cookie sheet that I put in the freezer. Once the tomatoes were frozen, I transferred them to ziplock baggies where they stayed until I needed them for a sauce. They won’t be much good for putting raw on a salad, but they make a delicious Italian sauce or salsa.
Pasta Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes
10 frozen whole tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 chopped onion
several chopped peppers – I use both sweet and hot peppers
fresh or dried herbs in any combination and to taste: basil, oregano, thyme, fennel, tarragon
salt and pepper
Remove tomatoes from freezer and put in refrigerator for 4-5 hours. Rinse under hot water for a few seconds until skins peel off easily. Let skinned tomatoes sit for an hour or until core can be cut out easily.
In the meantime, sauté onions, garlic, peppers (or anything else you’d like to add such as mushrooms, carrots, or olives) and herbs.
Chop tomatoes, even if they’re still partially frozen, throw pieces into pan with sautéed mix.
Bring to boil then put on low for several hours, stirring occasionally. When sauce is reduced enough, it’s time to use sauce in your favorite Italian dish.