Friday, August 3, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce from Frozen Tomatoes

I'm a bad bad bad person.  Look what I found in the freezer.  Yes, it's frozen tomatoes....a whole heck of a lot of them.  It's easily over 10 pounds of beautiful vine-ripened tomatoes.  

Last year, I had a flush of ripe tomatoes at the end of September...right before I was leaving town for a while.  I didn't have time to make sauce back then so I froze them whole on a cookie sheet then placed them into ziplocs for safe keeping.  I fully intending to make my sauce with them.  Fast forward to today.  *hanging my head in shame*

Lucky for me, these babies were still good.  No ugly frostbite and no weird freezer tastes.  I thew the tomatoes whole into a pot.  

Okay, I really needed two pots for the amount of tomatoes that I hoarded.

I simmered them until they defrosted and cooked down.  Then I let the sauce cool for a while.

I strained them through the food mill to remove the skins and seeds.  I was left with tomato juice and pulp.  Since there were a lot of heirloom tomatoes and not a lot of paste tomatoes, the sauce was watery.  I put it in the slow cooker overnight uncovered to cook off the water and thicken it up.  I had so much sauce that it didn't all fit into the slow cooker.  I had to simmer a pot on the stove overnight.    

In the morning, I added the rest of the ingredients to the pot.  I added garlic, onions, bell peppers, fresh mushrooms, fresh basil from the garden, fresh parsley, oregano, bay leaves, salt, sugar and pepper.  I simmered this all day.  I used this recipe from last season.  This time I also added some dried celery leaves from last season to give it more flavor.

I ended up with 12 cups of sauce plus enough for dinner.  I freeze the sauce once it cools.  Feel free to add your meat to the sauce before it goes into the freezer if you like, but I like to freeze my sauce without the meat.  It allows me flexibility in cooking.  Sometimes I enjoy adding ground turkey or beef or even sausage.  But sometimes I like to add spinach or Swiss chard or zucchini to make it vegetarian.

Tonight my dad's request for ground beef won out.  MMMmmm...slow cooked goodness!

**Linking up to Robin's Thursday's Kitchen Cupboard at The Gardener of Eden**


Robin said...

What a great find! I made some tomato puree and canned it today. Our tomatoes are starting to roll in!

Rowena... said...

For me that would be like a treasure at the end of the rainbow! I never make enough sauce or dried tomatoes to last until the following year and with 2012 being an off year for growing a whole bunch of toms, I'll be happy for whatever I get. The sauce looks so scrumptious!

~Holly~ said...

Robin: I feel like a goof for letting them stay all year in the freezer. I'm just glad they were still go. I would cry if they all were wasted. I'm still waiting for this year's tomatoes. Still green. =0/

Rowena: LOL! I was quite excited...I'm not gonna lie. I hope you get your fill of tomatoes this year. You'll be rolling in them next season! ;-)

Anonymous said...

I did the same thing only with about 45anks for the tip!