Tomato Sauce

The secret will now be told!  And this is going to be quick, from raw ingredients to pasta on the table in about an hour -- and using only two pots!

Okay, first you have to start with the some fresh tomatoes.  Not those things you buy at the store, either home made or at a fruit stand.  It needs to be a tomato you could cut in half with a knife and eat raw and enjoy!  If it doesn't taste good raw -- it's not going to taste any better in sauce....     The first thing you want to do is wash the tomatoes, and it also is nice to have some fresh peppermint and basil.  Then you clean them.  Cut out the stem and toss them in a pot.  My mother used to like to give them a squeeze to remove extra juice -- but that's just more flavor!  The choice is yours.

Now you've got the raw tomatoes in a pot and you thrown in a heaping bunch of fresh basil and peppermint.  Then put it on the stove -- DON'T ADD ANY WATER.  Just use a wooden fork and smash those tomatoes.  They will release plenty of juice.  Over medium heat bring them to a boil -- skim off any of the light orange scum that starts to form (almost like you are making soup).  The goal here is not to cook the tomatoes, just get them tender so we can get the skins off.  Taste it for salt, feel free to add a little sugar also.

Done!   Hope they look good to you.  By this time the tomatoes ought to be just about reaching a boil.  Don't really want them to boil hard, just till they feel soft.  Then turn the heat off and get out a food mill to process it.  You want to leave the skin and the seeds behind. It's going to be really, really hot -- so be careful!  Notice - I'm straining it into the same pot that I will put on the range.  Let's keep washing to a minimum.

Now, go back to the pot that you had used to cook the tomatoes.  It should be empty now and still warm.  Pour a little olive oil in the bottom, put it back on the range, and add the meatballs and the onions.  You are going to GENTLY fry them -- nothing should turn black or even dark brown!  The goal is to just get the onions to soften up and the meatballs starting to cook on the outside.  TURN THEM GENTLY -- they really are soft!

Now, take the sauce you just strained into the pot (taste it, it should be good!).  Now put that on the range and bring it to a boil.  In your other part the meatballs and onions are gently simmering.   As the sauce starts to heat up -- again, skim the stuff off the top.  When it starts to boil, pour it into the other pot that has the meatballs -- YOUR DONE.

© John and Domenic Murtari 2011