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Garden Tomato Sauce

Posted by Suzie Canale on Fri, Jul 24, 2015

There’s nothing like making your own sauce with the main ingredient being hand picked from your own garden.  Yes, it might be an overzealous bit of pride in the hard work it took to cultivate the delicious beauties but there’s no doubt that real tomatoes taste better than store bought.  I bet you didn’t know that while the “Anti Carb War” is still being fought, there are great benefits to eating certain dishes that, yes, contain some form of pasta.  Marinara can be looked at from an entirely different perspective if you just take the time to tweak what goes into your recipe.  The first step, of course, is to avoid the mainstream grocery stores and look for other locations where the food hasn’t been altered such as farmers markets, farm stands, and hopefully- are own backyards.  Once we’ve done that, it’s only a matter of creating the right taste and texture that you and your family prefer.

Different varieties of tomatoes provide different attributes that will change the way your sauce comes out.  For instance, some varieties are more watery while others have more seeds.  Some tomatoes possess a bite in seasoning while others lean to the sweeter side.  It all depends on what your recipe calls for and what you need those yummy veggies to do once they’ve been added to the pot.  When I make my own sauce, I depend on a meatier type but I also combine other varieties to flavor it with richness.  I prefer the Jet Star tomato for my base and then add baby heirloom tomatoes to finish it off but there is a multitude of different ways to do it.  These are some descriptions of popular New England tomatoes to help you choose what the right tomato is for you!  


These bad boys are big, juicy and most importantly, delicious!  They contain a great balance of sweetness and acidity making them popular in sandwiches and salads.  Since the rind holds well after cooking, Beefsteak tomatoes are perfect to use if you enjoy an earthy rendition of marinara because you’ll be able to have chunks of the fruit and a fair amount of seeds present.  


These guys are my favorite because depending on the shade of the fruit, the taste will vary significantly, making an otherwise boring pot of sauce an exciting treat!  There are a few guidelines though such as red being the sweetest while green holds the stronger tart characteristic.  Yellow heirlooms can be bitter so they’re fabulous when you need to bump up the flavor of a too sweet tomato sauce.  If you want my advice, mix them all together for the most interesting and delicious outcome!

Cherokee Purple

This one has a gorgeous color that your sauce will benefit from because it will turn a deeper shade of red than common sauces.  Originally from the heirloom family, this variety needs an extended amount of time to grow in the heat than other types but boy is it worth when they’re ready to be picked.  Pasta lovers will love their rich and complex taste while enjoying a recipe that requires little help of flavor from other ingredients. Olive oil, salt and pepper is all this variety will need!

Tags: Gardening, Chef, cooking, Tomatoes

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