RECIPE: Velvety Fresh Garden Tomato Pasta Sauce

Tomatoes are still going gang busters in my yard, but all I see everywhere is apple this and pumpkin spice that.

Well, I always was a little rebellious. And I've always been thrifty. SO I am going to keep my SUMMER garden bounty going as long as possible, and this tomato sauce I created uses A LOT of your tomatoes all at once! It's all the good things of summer slathered all over a carbo-loaded plate of blissful pasta. Yum.

A couple things to note, I used a hand crank food mill. I actually got mine a thrift store years ago, and it's the exact same one that my Italian mother has. It's a nice way to puree your sauce while keeping out the seeds, but not over-process it. If you don't have one of these gadgets (ahemm, get one!) you could use a food processor and then run the sauce through a sieve as an alternative approach before finishing, but that approach may liquefy the sauce too much, so be careful. That's why I like my food mill. It's perfect every time. The other thing that's nice about this sauce is the trick I learned from an old Williams Sonoma cookbook, where you add a touch of butter for some body and creaminess to the sauce before serving. It makes things super velvety and delicious.

Velvety Fresh Garden Tomato Pasta Sauce


Sauce base
4-5 lbs. of garden tomatoes, roughly chopped
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 tsp. chopped fresh oregano leaves
3 Tbsp. butter
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste

The finish
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 Tbsp. chopped basil leaves
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp. salt, taste and adjust seasoning at the end
3 Tbsp. butter, cut into tablespoons

Pasta, cooked according to package directions
Grated Parmesan cheese for garnish


In a deep saute pan melt 3 Tbsp. butter. Add the onion and garlic, and cook on medium high heat. When things are soft and beginning to caramelize, add the carrots. Cook for about 10 min. or until the carrots are soft, then add the chopped tomatoes with all the juices. Cook on medium high heat until you get a good simmer, that lower the heat and add the basil, oregano and seasonings. Simmer for about 15-20 minutes. The tomatoes will have broken down and things should be melded together. Turn off heat and let cool down for 15-20 minutes.

Once cooled, ladle sauce into a food mill over a large bowl. Discard remnants left in the mill as you go, and remember to scrape bottom of the food mill into your sauce, there's yummy stuff down there! Sauce base can be stored in the fridge for a few days before finishing.


In the same deep pan, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil. Add the onion and crushed garlic, and cook until well softened. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan. Simmer for 2-5 minutes, reducing it down before adding your milled sauce and the chicken stock. Raise the heat to get a good simmer. Then lower the heat so it continues to have a rolling simmer. Add salt and pepper, and simmer for 30-40 minutes. The sauce will thicken up and be reduced down to about 2/3rds. The last 15 minutes of cooking time add the basil. When sauce is ready, stir in a tablespoon of butter, one at time, ensuring each addition is completely melted and incorporated before adding the next one. Serve over cooked pasta, and garnish with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.



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