I have four tomato plants in my backyard. I used to plant six but that just caused grief. They got big, they intertwined, they bent over in despair. I was too overwhelmed to help them. Those tomato “cages” are not easy to put around a 4 foot plant with a tomatoes growing on it. (I suppose putting it on when it was a small seedling would be easier).
I always plant cherry tomatoes and this year I had two of the small round yellow tomato plants (upper left), one of the small green kind (upper right) and one of the lumpy yellow ones (bottom).
I wish with all my heart I remembered the names of the tomatoes–especially the lumpy yellow one as it they are so sweet I can barely stop eating them, even half-ripe. I knew the names when I bought them and did not write them done. “I will remember these names,” I thought, which is about the same as waking up in the middle of the night and thinking, “I will remember this dream”.
Four plants has provided a good crop for us. We’ve been enjoying tomato salads all August and now with the branches full of ever ripening bounty I have been making tomato sauce.
So here’s what I do when I get a bowl full (about 4-5 cups?). I get out a large pan, sauté a finely chopped onion in olive oil and mash in some fresh garlic once the onion has softened. Then I pour in the tomatoes and let simmer them until they pop, soften and release all their juicy insides. I continue simmering until the sauce thickens a bit and just season with a bit of sea salt. THAT IS IT.
I always buy good pasta for these late summer meals and in this case I topped with whole milk ricotta which cut the acidity of the sauce and makes it even better.
I realized fast that I am much too lazy to blanche and peel cherry tomatoes but it actually doesn’t matter. The sauce still tastes amazing. It is such a perfect example of using simple, good ingredients. And some mysteriously fertile soil at the side of our garage. Our Macedonian neighbors are so jealous.
I am cooking up another batch today. And thinking of my friend who started out the gardening season with a ridiculous amount of seedlings–300? He’ll be laughing if it’s a long winter (but stressed right now as he spends the wee hours bidding on stockpots through ebay ). And I think he’s much more likely than I to not make sauce with tomato skins in it. Life it tougher for the perfectionists. But if you’re really fussed you can strain the sauce through a colander which will catch most of the skin I suppose. Or just don’t eat at my house.
*that is my son’s hand ( in the photo) stealing my food. We had a talk, don’t worry.