Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Simmer Down!

This afternoon's project: Turn all our ripe tomatoes into Big Batch Bolognese

After smelling this simmering all afternoon, we are all really looking forward to dinner and to the meals that will be frozen for future suppers. What was once just a bunch of tomatoes from our garden is now a hearty meal - so simple, but very satisfying!
Here is my recipe!
Meaty Pasta Sauce
1/2 bushel of ripe red and yellow tomatoes
Wash tomatoes and blanch in boiling water for 2 minutes. Remove to cold water. Remove skins and coarsely chop. I like to let these sit in a clean dish pan and let the juices drain a bit so the sauce takes less time to cook.

Saute together in your largest stock pot:
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 lbs. fresh lean ground beef - we like Laura's Lean
3 large onions chopped
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed or minced
1-2 cups of finely chopped celery
1-2 red peppers (optional) finely chopped

When meat is browned and veggies are translucent, drain any fat and return to large stock pot. Add:

coarsely chopped tomatoes (save the juice, strain seeds and chill for a refreshing drink or freeze to add to soup some other day)
3 or4 6 ounce cans of tomato paste
1/4 cup sugar
2-3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. fresh ground pepper
3 stems each of fresh oregano, basil and thyme, finely minced
OR dried herbs would work well too - try 2 tsp. of each to start and adjust to your family preference.

My largest stock pot was full to the brim today and as you can see from my photo it has simmered down quite a bit to a nice rich thick sauce.

Serve hot with fresh cooked pasta, a nice Italian loaf, and a green salad!


  1. What a beautiful sauce, Heather! And how wonderful to make it from the tomatoes in your garden, I'll bet that makes it extra yummy! Enjoy your dinner!

  2. Hi, I'm new to your blog and this sauce looks absolutely delish-I can almost smell it over here in Ca.
    I've never made homemade pasta sauce before. I remember my mom making spaghetti sauce before the jars came out in the stores. I've always bought the jars myself.
    I'm saving your recipe to make myself one day. Thanks for posting it!
    joanna :)

  3. Kelli - it is fun to know how fresh your ingredients are - and that they haven't been sprayed with chemicals!

    Welcome Joanna - my husband could smell it before he walked in the door - but CA? You've got a great imagination! I really isn't hard to make and I have even stuck the sauce in two big crock pots and left it all day when I needed to run errands!

    We'll be visiting the farm market for more tomatoes for another batch or two since ours are being eaten pretty quickly!

  4. Oh, thanks for sharing that beautiful photo and recipe! I wish my scrawny tomato plants had not been hit by drought.

    I think this is my first time visiting here, and I look forward to exploring the archives.

  5. Meredith - thank you for dropping by to visit! I'm a pretty sporatic blogger, so please don't get discouraged if I don't have a new post every day!


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