Feeling saucy? Simmer up some summer goodness

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When your tomato plants start producing in high gear, or the goods at your local farmers’ market were irresistible, homemade tomato sauce might be on the menu.

In a recipe from Cooking Virginia Style with Farm Bureau Women, Suffolk farmer Shelley Barlow notes that you can use the sauce all at once or store it covered in the refrigerator for several days.

“You can also double, triple or quadruple the recipe,” she adds. “Just remember that if you are cooking down a huge pan-full of sauce it will take longer.”

Summer Tomato Sauce

3 pounds ripe tomatoes (4-5 large, or at least a quart when processed)
1 tablespoon olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chopped
salt and pepper to taste

In a pot of boiling water, scald the tomatoes for about 45 seconds, and slip off their skins. Trim off stems and, in a food processor or blender, process tomatoes briefly to a somewhat rough texture.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the garlic. Stir for about a minute, and then add the tomatoes, basil and salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 30 minutes—a little longer if the tomatoes were very juicy—until reduced by about a third.

Makes 2½-3 cups of sauce.

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