I should have taken photos of the tomatoes I got off my two vines. They went wild and I had tomatoes I didn’t know what to do with. I even gave some away to my lawn maintenance people before I figured out what to do with them.
I was not confident in my (lack of) experience with canning, so that was not an option. I did find a pretty painless way to save my tomatoes and use them later. I found a recipe for homemade marinara sauce made in a crock pot. I had to try it and the results were fantastic. I have food allergies, so am pretty limited on what I can eat and making my own food means I can make it with ingredients I can tolerate.
I looked on Pinterest and Googled for ideas on what to do with these tomatoes before they spoiled. I found my highly recommended recipe and went about buying the few ingredients I didn’t have (balsamic vinegar and a few additional spices) and started.
First, removing the tomato peel is so easy, by scoring the tomatoes, putting a few tomatoes at a time in boiling water for about 30 seconds, then plunging them into ice water. After a minute or so, take the tomato from the water and peel it. So easy.
When all the tomatoes are peeled, remove any undesirable bits, quarter them, and scoop all seeds out with a spoon, squish a bit with your hands to crush, and then they are ready for the crock pot. You can chop them up well before adding, or leave kind of chunky and they will cook down where you can smash them up in the sauce as much as you want when cooked, leaving a smoother or chunkier sauce to your preference. Adding to the crockpot with all the other ingredients and cooking on low for about six hours produces the best sauce ever. Knowing there are no preservatives in it and it’s entirely healthy is another reason to make your own. Here’s my finished product.
Homemade marinara sauce ready to eat after six hours of slow cooking
Vegetable spirals pasta topped with homemade marinara sauce and some grated Mozzarella cheese
I am getting ready to make another batch this week. Use it up in a week, or freeze it for up to six months and use as needed. I sneaked it onto anything I could think of because it tasted that good. I gave some to my daughter who spiced it up more than I could ever handle, with garlic and jalapeno, and she raved about it.
Here are the tomatoes I’m currently working with; mine are on the right and the locally bought on the left. Because they are nearing the end of the season, the plants are not producing as large as my first batch.
You can also use canned tomatoes (some information on the best brands to use was provided in various posts). I will link the recipe I used, but there are so many different ones out there to peruse and see what ingredients they add to theirs. A roasted tomato marinara sauce with garlic and oregano is prepared totally in the oven, in roasting pans for about an hour, which is quicker and sounds very tasty.