I love this time of year when we blessed enough to be enjoying an abundance of fresh local produce! I grew my own tomatoes this year and I have to say I did a really great job of it! (Not to brag or anything!) I took advantage of some of them, as well as some which I bought to make up the difference, to make a delicious homemade crock-pot marinara sauce.
There is no greater taste on earth than fresh garden tomatoes, picked and eaten on the day with the warmth of the sun still on their skins. A delicious sauce made with them is also a real treat and even more so when you take advantage of the slow cooker and let it do all the work for you!
I like to peel my tomatoes first. It's quite easily to do. You just cut a small x into the base of the tomato opposite the stem end and plunge them into boiling water for a couple minutes, scoop them out into cold water and you will notice the skin already beginning to peel back from the x. Just take a sharp knife and the skins should slip right off with no problem.
I also like to scrape out and discard the seeds before cooking. This peeling and scraping makes a bit more work, but it saves work at the end. You can just cook the sauce with the skins and seeds, but then you would have to put it through a food mill at the end and to me it is just simpler to remove them from the very beginning.
I also prefer my sauce to be a bit on the chunky side rather than pureed, so its just what works best for me. The longer you cook it, the thicker it gets, and the more concentrated the flavours.
I like to sweeten mine with a bit of honey, but you can leave this out as well if your tomatoes aren't that sharp. For myself, I really enjoy a bit of sweetness. In any case I do hope you will give this a go and that you will enjoy it! If you don't have your own grown tomatoes, you could substitute 4 small tins of chopped tomatoes (14 ounce tins/400g), or two larger ones, undrained. (28 ounce tins) Enjoy!
*Crock-Pot Marinara Sauce*
Makes 2 pints or 4 cups
This makes a great all round tomato sauce with lovely flavour. The longer you cook it the thicker it will get. I think it is delicious. I like to freeze it in half pint/1 cup containers. It's a great way to use up the glut of tomatoes in the garden!
As the Italians would say Buon Appetito!!