FRESH-FROM-THE-FIELD SUMMER TOMATO SAUCE
There's no better way to celebrate plump, juicy, sweet, peak-season tomatoes than with a fresh sauce. Our version takes less than 30 minutes. No lengthy simmer on the stove. No complicated list of ingredients. Just the simple elegance of the field tomato.
YIELD: 2 to 3 cups
6 - 8 medium to large tomatoes (any variety)
3 tbsp fresh extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp Garlic olive oil*
1/2 - 1 cup of fresh basil leaves (Optional)
1 - 2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 - 2 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
*You can also use fresh finely diced garlic cloves: one per tomato. We prefer our Garlic olive oil since the infusion holds its rich roasted flavour better than fresh.
Place olive oils in Dutch oven on medium heat. Add red pepper flakes and heat for 2 minutes. (If using fresh garlic add now). Cut tomatoes in 6 to 8 wedges depending on tomato size. Discard stem end. They should be sizable for a chunky sauce. There is no need to peel*. Add to heated oil then make sure tomatoes are thoroughly blended with olive oil. Turn the heat to medium-low. Do not cover with lid. Add tsp salt. You can add more to taste at the end of cooking. The generous amount of salt will help the juice escape from the tomato. Simmer for 20 minutes (or less if using fewer tomatoes). Any more than 20 minutes and you'll lose the light, fresh and sweet flavour. (This is not a sauce to simmer for several hours.) Fold in basil. Use immediately. Or store in your fridge for a week or for 3 months in your freezer. If using later reheat and then fold in fresh basil; or any herb of your choice. (Optional: If tomatoes are not quite sweet enough feel free to add a teaspoon or two of sugar after adding tomatoes to the pot.)
*Tomato skins contain flavonols (antioxidants) maximizing their nutritional value. If you wish to peel them simply score the top of the tomato (not the stem end). Place them in boiling water for one minute. Remove then in ice water immediately. The skin should be easy to slide off.