Thursday, April 1, 2010

Recipe Rursday: Freezing Whole Tomatoes for Sauce

Frozen Garden Tomatoes, 3/28/10.

Yes. I froze tomatoes whole. Recent guests believed me not, but it's okay to freeze tomatoes. These beauties are from last year's garden -- one is a Pale Purple Perfect tomato (thus the purple/green color), others are German Reds and the minis are Sungellas. I froze them at the end of last summer, without blanching and by merely placing them into freezer bags. I read somewhere that they'll keep for 8 months or so, meaning it was time to use them this month.
Step One: Run each one under warm/hot water and the skins will slip off easily. Peeled tomatoes look funny. Look closely for and cut out any freezer burn. I didn't find any.
Step Two: After a rough-chop, use them to make sauce.
Pasta Sauce: Ours is fairly simple. Saute onions & garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add diced peppers & add a dash of red pepper flakes. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste. Stir, now & then, until the peppers are soft. Add chopped fresh or frozen tomatoes (or use 1 can of whole tomatoes) & 1 can of diced tomatoes or tomato puree to thicken. Simmer on low for an hour or so. Throughout, season with salt, pepper, basil & oregano, to taste.
This was our first batch of tomato sauce from frozen tomatoes and it was perfect--bright and citrus-y. I'll be sure to repeat the process this summer if we get another abundance of tomatoes. Why let all those tomatoes go to waste?

** For more recipes, check out the RedPepperFlakes Recipe Archives.