All through summer local farmers sell their produce at small stalls alongside country roads. A couple of weekends ago the season finished and I bought 15 kg (33 lbs) of wonderful sun ripe tomatoes to make sauce for winter.
They are almost too beautiful to be eaten, the colors and shapes are so pretty. The recipe that follows is for 5 kilos (11 lbs).
Skinning is a must. My fastest and easiest method is to transfer the tomatoes (once the skin has cracked from being a few seconds in boiling water) with the help of a pair of thongs into a sieve..
and then drop them straight into the kitchen sink where I leave them to cool.
Once they have cooled it is easy to slide the skins off, which I leave in the sink. Continuing to work in the sink, I half the skinned tomatoes and put them aside into a big bowl. The beauty of this method is that the kitchen remains clean, all the mess stays in the sink (I can't believe I am posting a pic of my messy kitchen sink here, but it illustrates the point)
A third of the halved tomatoes go in single layers on baking sheets lined with parchment (cut side up) to be roasted in a preheated oven (160Celsius/320 Fahrenheit) for approx. 80 minutes. The roast tomatoes will give the sauce a wonderful rich taste. All remaining tomatoes get chopped/teared into chunks.
Next pouring some good quality olive oil into a heavy sauce pan so that the bottom is covered in a nice layer. Chopping a big onion into little chunks and frying it in the olive oil on a small heat until translucent. Crushing two gloves of garlic and continuing to fry until fragrant. Then adding the oven roasted and chopped tomatoes and several teaspoons of Herbes de Provence.
Taking a big handful of basil..
..separating the leaves from the stalks and dropping them in the saucepan
then stirring the basil into the tomatoes and letting the sauce cook for at least five hours.. I cooked this one for seven. Choose the lowest heat, it should bubble just very softly. Stir occasionally.
When cooked, the sauce thickens considerably, more than a third of the liquid will have evaporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste. You can either leave it at a chunky consistency, or puree to a smooth sauce.
Love the contrast of the sauce's rich red color with the ink black pasta and fresh basil. This sauce freezes extremely well, I fill dozens of freezerbags with it so we can have a taste of summer all through winter.