This is a project for a cook who loves exploring the joys of the kitchen. Peeling and seeding tomatoes may not be for everyone, but it is actually a lot easier than you might think and definitely a classic technique that's good to know. It certainly makes a lovely sauce consistency. By all means, just cut up the tomatoes and turn them into sauce if you prefer!
(Makes about 2 quarts sauce)
3 pounds roma or heirloom tomatoes
3 medium red bell peppers
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 cups chopped Walla Walla Sweet onion
5-7 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup good red wine
Pinch red pepper flakes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Salt and pepper to taste
Peeling the tomatoes: (optional)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cut a small cross in the base end of each tomato. When the water is boiling, add them to the pot and watch until you see the first sign of skin splitting (30 seconds or so). Transfer them to a bowl with ice water. The skins should just strip right off. A little skin left on won't hurt your sauce! Cut the tomatoes in half crosswise and squeeze out the seeds. Chop the tomatoes and set aside. (Or you may just chop the tomatoes and use "as is".)
Charring the peppers:
Place the peppers under a pre-heated broiler and char, turning occasionally , until blistered well all over. (An alternative method is a gas or charcoal grill or even directly over the flame of a gas stove top.) Place the peppers in a bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Allow them to steam for 20 minutes and scrape off the charred skin. Remove the seeds and chop the peppers finely.
For the sauce:
Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and saut? the onions and garlic until soft, about 12 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roasted peppers, wine and red pepper flakes and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thickened to the consistency you prefer. (I like a light tomato sauce, so I simmer for about 15 minutes.) Stir in the basil and season with salt and pepper.
Recipe developed by Lynne Vea