I have been fine-tuning a pasta sauce recipe for a few weeks and I think it is as close to ‘right’ as it is going to get for now. So on Saturday I headed to the Kansas Grown Farmer’s Market for fresh tomatoes, garlic and onion. I knew that Saturday was the big annual Tomato Day at the market so hopes were high until …
Cheney Lake Tomatoes had enough for my purposes, so I gathered my other items and headed over to the Old Town Farmer’s Market.
The Old Town market is more artsy than the Kansas Grown. There are more ‘other’ stands than fresh produce stands, but they have one that I have been going back to week after week – Pappardelle’s by local vendor Pastalicious. I have tried 4 or 5 of their varieties but are currently hooked on the Pasta Luce. The other varieties have been wonderful, but when trying to get the sauce just right I didn’t want the distraction of flavored pasta.
splash of olive oil (about 2 TBS if you are a precise sort of person)
2 cloves of garlic (or to taste)
1 medium onion (or to taste)
2 teaspoons sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
1/2 tsp salt
few sprigs of fresh oregano (1/4 tsp dried or to taste)
few sprigs of fresh rosemary (1/4 tsp dried or to taste)
few springs of fresh basil (1/4 tsp dried or to taste)
bottle of your favorite wine
Start by blanching your tomatoes – bring a pot of water large enough to hold them to a boil and prepare an ice bath. While you are waiting for your water to boil, chop your onion (finely), rosemary and oregano. Mince your garlic. Pour a glass of wine and imagine you are cooking in a gourmet kitchen somewhere in Tuscany.
Once the water is boiling, put your tomatoes in. If the skins split they are ready for the ice bath. Don’t leave them in the boiling water longer than a minute, whether the skins have split or not. Leave in the ice bath for a couple of minutes to completely cool. Check on your wine – it may need to be topped off.
Once cooled, core the tomatoes and remove skin. The skin should just peel right off. Chop tomatoes into 1 inch chunks and use either a hand blender or a food processor to blend to desired consistency.
Put olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat. Add garlic, rosemary, oregano and onion. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the tomatoes, sugar and salt – bring to a simmer. Simmer for approximately 20-30 minutes, to thicken the sauce. Chop basil and set aside.
Get water going for your pasta and start approximately 10 minutes before you want to take your sauce off. When sauce and pasta are both done remove sauce from the heat and stir in basil while you drain pasta. Find your glass of wine and check temperature, bouquet and flavor.