Tuscan Tomato Sauce

Every Italian cook has her own recipe for tomato sauce, and they usually require few ingredients, but very fresh ingredients.  During the summers in Italy, homegrown tomatoes are carefully cooked and hand-milled into delicious sauce to be preserved for the winter.  This recipe uses carrots and celery, which is less traditional.  You can eliminate them, but I think they add a nice flavor.

Makes 2 cups

Makes 2 cups

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8-10 large ripe tomatoes (about 2 pounds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped

Fill a large pan halfway with water and bring to a boil.  Wash the tomatoes and using a serrated knife, cut a cross across the skin on the bottom of each tomato.  Place each tomato into the boiling water for one minute.  Remove with tongs and let cool on a rack.

Meanwhile in a 2 quart pan, heat olive oil and sauce celery, onion, and carrot until soft, but not browned.  Remove peel and seeds from tomatoes and add to pan with vegetables.  Stir in 1/2 cup water and 1 tsp. salt.  Let simmer for 10 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool 15 minutes.  Using a food mill set over a large bowl, pour sauce with vegetables into mill and process to separate liquid from vegetables solids.  Discard solids, and taste finished sauce to see if more salt is needed. 

Alternatively, you can put all ingredients into a food processor or blender, but the sauce will taste different from its intended flavor.  You can also use canned whole tomatoes instead of fresh peeled tomatoes.

MainsEvan Wei-Haas