Monday, August 16, 2010

Making homemade gravy, or as some would call it "tomato sauce"

Do you know how easy it is to make your own tomato sauce (as I call it - gravy)? I honestly never knew how to make tomato sauce completely from scratch, well not until my father in law gave me a bag filled with tomatoes from his garden. I had no idea what to do with all those tomatoes so I made gravy! And I am so proud of myself. It was so good, and so easy. So here is what I did..

1. First thing I did was get a pot of water boiling. Then I sprinkled in a little sea salt. I don't know why I added salt, I guess it's just in me to throw in salt whenever I have a pot of water boiling. What can I say?
2. Next I cut little X's into the tomatoes. This makes it easier to peel the tomatoes once the skin gets soft from the boiling water.
3. Place them in the boiling water until the skin get soft and starts wrinkle at the touch. Depending on the size of the tomato, this can take anywhere from 2 minutes to 4 (for huge ones).

4. Place the cooked tomato in a bath of cold water right away. This stops the cooking process and also cools the tomato so you can squeeze out the pulp.

5. Next, squeeze out the pulp, peel off the skin and cut out the core. I did a rough chop and then added the tomatoes to olive oil and rough chopped garlic that I had on a low simmer. Isn't my little helper just too adorable?

6. I seasoned the tomatoes with roughly about a teaspoon of sea salt and a half a teaspoon of pepper. That's  a guess, I really just eyeballing it. But it is safer to add more salt later on, after you tasted it.
7. I also added fresh basil about 2 tablespoons. I just love basil in my "gravy". Ok so I'll explain why I keep saying gravy. Where I am from (South Philadelphia), most of us call our tomato sauce-gravy. Not everyone but most. It's just how I was raised. You can read this article to see the great debate over it - and there is a debate. Click here for more. Technically this is a marinara sauce, but its all gravy to me.
I simmered this for about an hour and a half. The longer you do this, I promise, the more flavor you will get for the tomato, garlic and basil. Once it has cooked, I let the gravy cool off to room temperature. Then I took a hand blender and pureed it down to my desired consistency. I like it with a little chunk to it, but just a little.
This was what it looked like before I pureed it.
and here is my gravy after.

Delicious and pretty easy! Try it, I promise you won't be disappointed.
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Jenny said...

Looks tasty!

Rambling Girl said...

Awhh I knew we had to have something in common...I do the same and then I freeze mine. We have tons of it in the freezer and so easy and quick to do. I had already