A big box of tomatoes

I bought a big box of tomatoes in the Bristol Sweet Mart in St Mark’s Rd for an unbelievable £1.99, which is such a bargain. I wanted to make a big pot of a simple tomato and onion sauce base.

So, I heated some olive oil in a large pot and added two finely chopped onions and cooked them until they were softened. Then I added the tomatoes, which were just cut in half, or quarters for the larger ones and two tablesppons of salt. This was brought to a simmer and cooked down for about an hour, so that the liquid had reduced a bit.

Then I liquidised the whole thing with a stick blender. The resultant sauce is reasonably smooth but not too thick. By the time I had finished, there was about 4 litres of sauce.

This sauce base can be used for a variety of dishes because it hasn’t been given any flavourings or seasonings that might make it more suitable for one particular cuisine. It works for Italian food, Indian dishes, chilli con carne and anything else that needs some tomato colour and flavour.

I used some of it to make a nice simple Italian supper with Italian pork and fennel sausages, basil, chilli, garlic and pasta.

The rest of the sauce is now in the fridge in plastic boxes. I will freeze most of it and use the rest this week for a number of different things.


3 thoughts on “A big box of tomatoes

  1. Pingback: Quick and simple chickpea curry | Carole's Stuff and Occasional Nonsense

  2. Carole: What a great buy those tomatoes were! especially at this time of year.
    Have you ever seen the ‘tomato greenhouses’ in southern Spain? Unbelievable, they stretch as far as the eye can see. Until this year we’d almost given up on winter tomatoes and then the markets started carrying ‘heirloom’ varieties for about a dollar a pound higher than the usual, definitely worth it it for sandwiches and lunches.
    I grow exclusively heirlooms and we have a very vigorous 30+ plants currently about 2-3 ft high, they’ll get up to about 6ft by June. Some have fruit already.
    Every summer we do several large batches of salsa, ours is slightly different from yours.
    I begin by skinning the tomatoes, usually about 20lbs+,
    I keep most of them whole except for the huge ones, and they all go into a 3 gallon stainless pot along with several chopped onions, several heads of garlic, some Scotch bonnets and a variety of herbs. They simmer in their own juices and then go on to a vigorous boil for several minutes. They’re then decanted into qt. size preserving jars and finished in a large steamer for about 30 mins. We do this several times every summer and usually wind up with 40-50 qts which fill the pantry and get used in almost everything we eat throughout the year. I just checked and we have 9 left to last until about July-Aug. I also do tomato soup which is very close to your recipe, those get bottled in pints for lunches. And another process is to just stuff the whole raw tomatoes sprinkled with some salt into qt jars and steam em, that way we get intact tomatoes for cooking.

  3. Pingback: Pork and caraway meatballs | Carole's Stuff and Occasional Nonsense

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