Peak Season: Summer Tomato Sauce

22 Aug

The conventional wisdom is that when tomatoes are in season, they’re so good that you don’t need to do anything to them at all. This is true. But it doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong doing more. Seeing prices at the market drop as low as $2.50/lb. this week, I decided to take home a few pounds and make sauce to freeze for a later time of year, when local field grown tomatoes are a distant memory.

tomato sauce with onion and butter

I decided to use Marcella Hazan’s legendary tomato sauce recipe. What to say about this recipe that hasn’t already been said? A 28 ounce can of tomatoes, the better part of a stick of butter, and a peeled, halved onion are simmered together for about 45 minutes. The onion is removed and discarded and you’ve got a rich, delicious sauce. That’s it. No other ingredients, no more steps. Behold, the power of lots and lots of butter.┬áHere I used about three pounds of orange and red beefsteak tomatoes from Eckerton Hill Farm instead of the can; results were vibrantly colored and totally delicious. The sauce is easy enough that you can make it in the August heat and simple enough that it’s incredibly versatile. The recipe’s all over the internet, including smitten kitchen and food52. I didn’t seed or peel the tomatoes–just chopped them up and threw them in the pot with the other ingredients.


The butter helps a lot, but the sweet, juicy tomatoes really make this sauce. Those tomatoes would have looked and tasted great on a simple tomato and mayo sandwich, but they’re going to be even better when I defrost them in December.

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