Cake called last weekend to tell me her mother had suffered a fall and she'd be helping her out for a while. This left Cake in the tomato lurch. Not only do she and the Green Grocer have tomatoes coming out of their ears in their garden, but she bought 10 pounds of juicy heirlooms to make up some sauce.
Ah, how to help a friend in need. A batch of snickerdoodles and some tomato sauce, perhaps? These items are in no way commensurate with how much Cake helps us out, but it's a start.
I took those tomatoes, yes I did, and I prepped them for saucing. Here's the thing, most cookbooks will tell you to use a 28-ounce can of tomatoes for sauce. No, people, I had tomatoes to convert into sauce. Should I roast? Stew? Blanche?
I turned to Hugh. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall of The River Cottage. I knew he'd have a recipe that used tomatoes, ostensibly from his garden, rather than canned, though he does have a back up recipe for those days when your warehouse runs dry.
I roasted the tomatoes in a bath of olive oil and garlic before pressing them through a sieve.
Initially, I used the deep and conical chinois strainer but decided that it was leaving too little behind. After pressing the first batch, I switched to a colander.
I'd added a few of my own tomatoes to the batch for a total of about 12 pounds which yielded about 14 cups of glorious tomato sauce. It's a fine sauce, one which will do well with added ingredients, including stewed and chopped tomatoes.