Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Plum Tomato Plant that could;-)

It's been a while since I provided an update to my canning adventures, but all is well. We weren't able to layout the veggie garden of my dreams this year, but we were able to (at least) grow those little scraggly tomato plants that - despite limited nurturing - produced a tasty batch of tomatoes that made a great tomato sauce!

I happened to be watching The Food Network during a very hot afternoon in July when the dogs, cats, birds and humans (including me) were crammed into any space that offered a little air conditioning. Chef Giada De Laurentis happened to be demonstrating a Simple Tomato Sauce recipe that day. The show caught my eye, as I had wanted to learn how to do this, too - a non-canning method for making a great sauce.

After the show, I located the recipe online - - and bookmarked it for use at a later time. During the last two weeks, I began harvesting these little, red tomato gems from those sad-looking plants in my front garden. Regardless of how sad the plants looked, they produced a sweet and tasty harvest of tomatoes! I decided to go back to that bookmark, assemble the ingredients, and give the recipe and tomatoes a spin on my stovetop. I did take some license with the recipe, adding extra cloves of garlic, a nice shot of red wine, a sprinkle of red pepper and a bit of oregano. Also added 6 Italian sausages braised in a touch of olive oil, and cut into 1" sections, then dropped into the sauce for a good 30 minutes.

With fingers crossed, I made pasta and served up dinner with pasta and sauce. My husband walked in the door saying, "Something smells real good! When he took a bite, he had a big smile on his face and said, "Are the our tomatoes?!" The recipe and tomatoes were a hit!

I'm planning to make another few batches once the tomatoes complete their cycle, and will freeze the  sauce so we can enjoy during the fall. Thanks to Giada De Laurentis, I can now make a sauce that I can be proud to serve!


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