How To Use Fresh Tomatoes

Tuesday, July 18, 2017
This is the easiest way to peel fresh plum tomatoes or any kind of tomatoes.


You can blanch, freeze, make a sauce and even make homemade tomato paste with summer fresh tomatoes.


I love them in stews, sauce for pasta, on top of pizzas, and even in breakfast quiche.


When they are on sale, I buy several pounds and varieties, mostly plum tomatoes are used.

Grandma and Dad made the best quick sauce and had so many great uses and recipes for fresh tomatoes.


There are options and easy ways to remove most of the seeds and all the skins below in my instructions.


But you can just puree the whole tomato with skins on if you like.


Peeled tomatoes can be frozen whole, pureed of course used in many recipes all winter long.


My dad always did these methods every year and had a fabulous vegetable garden, so I grew up learning from watching him.


I will always remember his technique and his mom's, my Grandma Victoria, everything they cooked was so fresh tasting!


Scroll down to the recipe card and print off the instructions for all of these options.
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this is a basked of red plum tomatoes for several options to cook, freeze and blanch recipe instructions








Using Fresh Tomato Tips



Look for plump, heavy tomatoes with smooth skins.


They should be free of bruises, blemishes, or deep cracks, although fine cracks at the stem ends of ripe tomatoes do not affect flavor.


Make sure the leaves of greenhouse tomatoes are fresh and green on top.


Let's get started.



How To Use Fresh Tomatoes blanch, sauces, stews and these are in a blue colander bowl washed plum tomatoes





What kinds are the best?



I use pulpy kinds of tomatoes with less water content so they will cook quicker, however you need to keep the sauce from being tart and choose ripe tomatoes that aren't a little green.


I tried beefsteak, San Marzano, plum, vine ripe.


Beefsteak is less pulp, I'm willing to add a little extra water from a small portion of beefsteaks or other juicy tomatoes.


I can get a little bit of their flavor in the mix which really adds sweetness.


this is a bushel of beefsteak tomatoes


Beefsteak Tomatoes



Really, when I can get a variety of plum and beefsteaks together, it's a great combination.


It depends not only on the variety but also on where they were grown and other specific environmental conditions.


Our tomatoes tasted so much sweeter when I grew up.


They were grown in Upstate Utica, New York, compared to here in the sand in Florida now where I live.


You could bite into that tomato just like a sweet delicious apple and nothing compared to that fresh taste that we looked forward to from Dad's garden.


It's hard to predict with certainty the exact balance of sweetness and tartness any given tomato will deliver, so the best way to get a balanced sauce is to combine multiple kinds.


I used all plum this time and the sauce was fabulous.


Combining them with beefsteaks came out terrific as well.


There isn't an exact science, so experiment away.





this is a skinless plum tomato with skins removed




The Seeds



Some recipes call for discarding the seeds altogether, my dad used one of those tomato mills and got most of them out.


I like the flavor of the jelly the seeds produce.


I think is essential to creating what will ultimately be a sauce that has a good balance of sweet and tart flavors.


As for the skins, one option is to score the tomatoes, quickly blanch them, and then peel off their skins.


This is fine for small quantities of sauce, but for me making a large batch, in peak tomato season, peeling each tomato individually isn't practical.





this is a sliver colander with fresh plum tomatoes inside of it





Grandma and Dad



Dad made fabulous marinara sauce, even though he learned from his mom, he made it his way.


The biggest difference was the seasonings he added. Dad loved his oregano and parsley from the garden, Grandma never put oregano in her sauce, that was just for pizza.


My Grandma from Rome, Italy would cut the tomatoes into chunks, cores, skins, stems, seeds, and all (absolutely no need to exclude anything except the odd bad spots you may find) and dump into a large sauce pot, and set over high heat until the juices and come to a boil.


Then they're boiled for about 10 minutes, just long enough to soften the pulp.


It's a quick enough cooking time that the fresh tomato flavor isn't lost, but long enough that the pulp will pass through a food mill or vegetable strainer.


Again, it's up to you if you want to keep the skins on and not remove the seeds.


The easiest ways to remove seeds and skins is to use a food mill or some other type of mechanical strainer.


Once you get to this point with your tomato purée, now it's ready to make marinara sauce, freeze or use in anything you like.

this is a bushel of plum tomatoes to make tomato sauce and preserve them for winter

Plum Tomatoes



Most of the time I take the whole plum tomatoes and puree them skin and all in a food processor and cook them down to even make this quicker when I am in a hurry.


Did you know you can also make tomato paste?


All that is in the recipe card below.




this is a pot of fresh red plum tomato sauce cooking on the glass stove top




When Making The Sauce



First, the sauce should taste like it was made from fresh tomatoes, your pot of sauce should be bright, with a fruity aroma and flavor of uncooked (or barely cooked) fruit.


If they don't look and taste like that, I guess we should just stick with using canned tomatoes 365 days of the year.

Second, this sauce recipe should have a good consistency and have deep, and on the sweet side by cooking off much of the tomatoes natural water content.


Then caramelizing the fruit's natural sugars.


Otherwise, it's going to be too thin and tart.





this is a skinless plum tomato with skins removed





Freezing Tomatoes



Blanch by boiling first.


Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 60-90 seconds and, using a slotted spoon, transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water to cool.


Prepare tomatoes by removing stems and the core in the tomatoes.


Transfer into storage bags.


Using a ladle or measuring cup, fill pint or quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags.


Seal bags, and freeze



othis is a food mill that is sliver, it removes seeds and skins off the tomatoes and is sitting on an oak colored table




Making the Sauce:



Grandma kept it a simple tasting marinara sauce.


It was also referred to as quick sauce in our home.


Not many ingredients, just fresh tomatoes with basil in it and lots of garlic.


Grandma was from Rome, Italy as I said, so this is her Regions style of making this simple tomato sauce or pasta.


Ninety-nine percent of the time, this went of angel hair pasta or any other style spaghetti, but never thick pasta.


Fresh basil was always added at the end and she would use carrots to make it sweeter than what the tomatoes were, but you can use sugar also if you didn't have any carrots in the house!


If the sauce seems too much pulp just put them through a food processor and pulse a few minutes.



this is pureed tomatoes and olive oil in a food processor




Recipes



I have provided several recipe links for you to use your fresh tomatoes.


There is nothing like making fresh sauce, chili, sundried tomatoes or even Parmesan roasted fresh tomatoes.


Don't miss the opportunity or using fresh over canned when summer prices are low and tomatoes are in abundance.


I grew up with a Dad that had a wonderful tomato garden, he showed so much pride in what he produced and cooked and nothing went to waste.


I hope you enjoy and this has provided you will the ease of how simple it is to start from scratch using fresh tomatoes.


Have a delicious summer and fun cooking!





this is a basked of red plum tomatoes for several options to cook, freeze and blanch recipe instructions





More Recipes To Try:


Zucchini Tomato Tart

Slow Cooker Stewed Tomatoes

Pork Zucchini Stew

Chicken Stew

Traditional Sunday Sauce

Dad's Simple Marinara





this is a red basket with plum tomatoes in it





Watch My Quick Video On How To Use Fresh Tomatoes












homemade marinara sauce, quick sauce, simple sauce, blanching tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, how to peel tomatoes, how to make fresh tomato sauce, how to freeze fresh tomatoes
tomatoes, vegetables, instructional
Italian
Yield: 5 quarts
Author:

this is how to peel, blanch, freeze, make sauce with using this basket of plum fresh tomatoes

How To Use Fresh Tomatoes For Sauce

prep time: 25 Mcook time: 45 Mtotal time: 70 M
This is how to clean, blanch, freeze and make a marinara sauce using fresh summer tomatoes in season. The recipe for the sauce is included in this recipe card and is a quick simmered fresh tomato sauce used on pasta, preferably spaghetti.

ingredients:

  • How to Peel and Blanch:
  • Any kind of tomatoes ( I had 7 pounds of plum tomatoes)
  • Use a 5 to an 8-quart sauce pot
  • Water
  • Salt just a pinch
  • Place the tomatoes in sauce pot cover with water. Boil between 5 and 8 minutes.
  • Immediately place them in cold ice water.
  • The skins will loosen and become easy to peel.
  • When they become cool enough to handle peel the skins off.
  • Freezing Method Below
  • Making Sauce or Tomato Paste Recipes Below
  • Fresh Basil leaves around 6 to 8
  • Fresh Plum tomatoes around 5 to 7  pounds or a mix of beefsteak, San Marzano or vine ripe with plum
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 6 whole cleaned fresh cloves of garlic (we didn't use onion but you can add if you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon finely  minced garlic
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole peeled carrot  or  1 tablespoon sugar is  optional for extra sweetness

instructions:

How to cook How To Use Fresh Tomatoes For Sauce

  1. Grandma's Method of Making Fresh Marinara Sauce ( Quick Sauce or Simple Sauce)
  2. Cut the tomatoes into chunks, cores, skins, stems, seeds, and all (absolutely no need to exclude anything except the odd bad spots you may find) and dumped into a large sauce pot; and set over high heat until the juices and come to a boil.
  3. Then they're boiled for about 10 minutes, just long enough to soften the pulp.
  4. It's a quick enough cooking time that the fresh tomato flavor isn't lost, but long enough that the pulp will pass** through a food mill or vegetable strainer.
  5. The easiest ways to remove seeds and skins is to use a food mill or some other type of mechanical strainer.
  6. Making the Sauce:
  7. In a large clean saucepot, saute the garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil.
  8. Watch carefully it doesn't burn.
  9. Add the finely minced garlic and stir in the oil, for around 20 seconds.
  10. Add the fresh tomato prepared pulp. You can add two carrots in the sauce for extra sweetness or 1 tablespoon granulated sugar. ( if using carrots remove before serving along with whole cloves of garlic)
  11. Simmer uncovered until the sauce reaches your desired thickness. Stir frequently to keep the sauce from burning.
  12. Cook until thickened and most of the water is evaporated around 35 to 45 minutes or more depending on how you like it. This could very well take up to more than an hour.
  13. When the sauce is thickened, turn off the heat and add 5 to 6 fresh basil leaves into the sauce and let it rest while cooking your favorite pasta, preferably thin spaghetti.
  14. Freezing Tomatoes and Blanching
  15. Blanch by boiling first.
  16. Drop tomatoes into boiling water for 60-90 seconds and, using a slotted spoon, transfer immediately into a bowl of ice water to cool.
  17. Prepare tomatoes by removing stems and the core in the tomatoes.
  18. Transfer into storage bags.
  19. Using a ladle or measuring cup, fill pint or quart-sized freezer Ziploc bags.
  20. Seal bags, and freeze
  21. These tomatoes can be used for sauce, stews and even baked tarts.
  22. How To Make Tomato Paste See below Instructions
  23. 8 to 10 pounds of Tomatoes
  24. 2 teaspoons salt
  25. 2 tablespoons olive oil
  26. 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  27. Food mill
  28. 2 rimmed baking sheets or 1 roasting pan
  29. 4-ounce jars, for storing or plastic freezer containers
  30. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  31. Chop tomatoes into quarters.
  32. Simmer the tomatoes with the olive oil.
  33. Place the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until shimmering.
  34. Add the tomatoes and cook until soft and the peels come off.
  35. Push the warm tomatoes through a food mill, to separate the tomato pulp from the seeds and skins.
  36. Stir the salt and lemon juice into the pulp.
  37. Discard the seeds and skins.
  38. Place the pulp on 2 baking sheets (I usually place them on parchment paper for easy cleanup).
  39. Check the tomatoes every half hour, and stir them until the water level is reduced to half.
  40. The paste is done when it is brick-colored and reduced by more than half, 3 to 4 hours.
  41. There shouldn’t be any water left.
  42. It will keep in the fridge for 3 to 4 weeks. Frozen, it will keep for up to 9 months.
Calories
110
Fat (grams)
11
Carbs (grams)
9
Fiber (grams)
29
Sugar (grams)
11
Created using The Recipes Generator






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this is how to peel, blanch, freeze, make sauce with fresh tomatoes



Try Some Of My Other Favorite Sauce Recipes






History on Tomatoes with Recipes
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Chicken Riggie Sauce
Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce
Bourbon Sauce
Amaretto Cranberry Sauce
Pizza Sauce 








this is a skinless plum tomato with skins removed



7 comments

  1. Love this tip! So much easier and nicer looking than peeling by hand!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great way to do it! Liked your video!

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  3. I love tomatoes (especially ours here in Jersey), they are fabulous. I do make my own sauce sometimes - I've never tried it with several different types like you suggested, I'll have to try that.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a fabulous tutorial for peeling plum tomatoes for marinara sauce! I love all the great tips!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Very useful post. Love the detailed information with some great tips.

    ReplyDelete
  6. What a great and informative post! I never use fresh tomatoes in sauces etc. since it seems far too daunting but now I will definitely give it a try!

    ReplyDelete
  7. What a great guide to tomatoes. I love preserving every single one from my garden. I learned some new tricks here today. Thanks for that!

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for your kind words and questions, I will try and reply to each of them. If you need help right away, contact me on Facebook or my email @pegasuslegend24@gmail.com