I love a well stocked freezer.
Actually, it helps to have a garage that you can put the mid-size energy efficient stand alone freezer your parents made you buy at an estate sale. But I love that freezer and the bounty of time saving joy it brings me in the form of frozen goodies. CHOW’s old food editor swore that the freezer was the best kitchen trick she had to producing great food fast.
It’s one of those things that helps me sleep at night. I always have a couple of quarts of frozen chicken stock and usually a couple frozen dishes for later. But that’s my baggage from my college summer job working as a costumed interpreter at Old Sturbridge Village. (Don’t worry, I am SO going to write about that later…)
I noticed the wonderful glut of cheap organic tomatoes at the farmer’s market and thought, “hey–why don’t I make my own marinara that i can freeze and pull out when I want! It will be so much healthier and cheaper and not canned!”
Sure. Why not? Because I have all this free time. HAHAHAHAHA (wipes tear away from laughter…) Oh. and a million other projects that need to be finished and linen closets to clean out and. . .
Like THAT ever stopped me before. Over the past weekend, I made marinara from scratch. And it was crazy easy.
Here is what I’ve learned: making marinara sauce from fresh tomatoes to freeze is easy, but takes times. Because of the steps. Oh, yeah. The steps. I basically used this recipe from Former Chef.
Here’s how it went:
I started with ten lbs of glorious tomatoes that I bought for a steal at the farmer’s market.
I thought this was going to be a serious pain in the kiester, but it wasn’t. Just drop each tomato in boiling water until the skin starts to look kinda wrinkly then pop it in icy water and pinch the skin off. Not too hard.
Next step was to ditch all those seeds, which was kinda fun believe it or not. But messy—I’m not going to lie to you about that. And I’m glad I didn’t have any cuts because I’m sure the tomato juice would have not been too pleasant to get into a cut.
Then, just chop the tomatoes into quarters and run them through a food mill. So far, the whole experience has ten about an hour with a good size chunk in the middle. And at this point I decide to call it quits and put the nice puree into the fridge and deal with the rest of it Sunday.
The next morning, I pulled out the tomatoes and got cracking again. I sauted a large onion until translucent. Added garlic and saute for a minute. Added tomatoes and some yummy dried herbs–oregano and basil and a bit of red wine. And with some great bread my brother brought from his favorite bakery, we tasted it until it was perfect.
Afterward, I left the sauce cool and we put the sauce in jars the next day and popped in freezer.
Yes, that’s right–stare at the nice orderly jars of marinara sauce–not the bathroom floor. Or the linen closet. Or my closet. Don’t even look in the direction of my attic. Or garage. Or… Well, Let’s just be happy about the sauce, alright?