Lori, if somewhere out there you are reading this, know I give you all the credit! This is not only the most delicious tomato sauce in the world, but it is the best use for the large crops of tomatoes available right now. Perhaps in your very own garden! Sadly, Lori and I lost touch several years ago, but I fondly remember our times together and the recipes she shared with me.
Her parents always had a large garden, and one summer she brought me a huge box of ripe tomatoes and this recipe.
This sauce is very easy to make, but it does take a long time. What makes it special is there is no tomato paste or thickener of any kind. How long it takes depends on how many tomatoes you have. 12 lbs of tomatoes makes one crock pot full of sauce. Because it is all tomatoes.
So, begin by washing and coring your 12 lbs of tomatoes. Place a few at a time in your (Kitchen Aid) food processor and pulse to puree. Pour into crock pot set on high. Continue til pot is full. Do not put on the lid. Leave it be. Stir it once in a while. As the water evaporates off and the level drops, add more pureed tomatoes. Keep doing this. It can take up to three days! When you have added all your tomatoes, let it evaporate down til it is nice and thick. Turn heat down to low.
When the tomatoes are ready, heat 1T olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 large yellow onion, chopped, and 4 cloves garlic, minced. Cook and stir 5 to 6 minutes til softened and fragrant. Add to tomatoes. Finely shred 18 fresh basil leaves and add to tomatoes. Add 2t Kosher salt, 1t black pepper, and 1T white sugar. (The sugar cuts the acid, it is not to make it sweet.) It is very important at this stage to taste it and adjust the seasonings to your liking. A lot depends on the tomatoes as to how you will adjust the flavor. I add 1/4t cayenne pepper. This is not enough to make it hot, but really gives it added flavor. Your call!
At this point, you put on the lid and let it simmer on low for 2 hours, allowing the flavors to blend. Taste again, making any final adjustments.
This sauce freezes very well. Allow to cool completely, and ladle into quart freezer bags. Expel the air and seal. Lay flat in the freezer. Thaw and reheat as needed. It gives you a wonderful taste of summer during the winter!
Thank you for this recipe Lori! I know everyone will love it, because it’s Dee-damn-lish!
Love, Grammy ❤