Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

So my wife and I had a ton of leftover tomatoes from the farmers market this week.We knew that tomato sauce might be a good destination for the tomatoes that might not be suitable for other dishes. We had a great mixture of regular and heirloom tomatoes.

Our first step was to blanch the tomatoes so we could get the skins off easier. First step in that was to make criss cross cuts on the bottom of the tomatoes. This way after being blanched the skins will just peel right off.

Next step of course is to drop them into boiling salted water. Just for a minute or two, remember you're not cooking them here, only blanching to get the skins off.
After a minute or two they go straight from boiling water and right into an ice bath. That way they don't keep cooking. We want to save the cooking for the pan.
Once they've completely cooled off its time to peel the skins from the tomatoes. The criss crosses and blanching should help them slide right off. You can use a knife to help.
Here's a pic of all the tomatoes after they've been peeled. No, we don't have super gross tomatoes. I said some of them were heirloom tomatoes. They look weird. Deal with it. We paid extra money for that weird look. And it's super healthy. That's what they tell me.
Next step mash up the tomatoes in a saute pan. Cook on medium heat for a just a few minutes. One of the tricks is not to cook the tomatoes through all the way. We're going to reduce all the liquid but if we keep the tomatoes in the pan the entire time the flesh can wind up way too soggy and overcooked. By taking it out then adding it back later the flesh keeps its texture and it taste fresher.

In this case we used a strainer when we removed the tomatoes from the pan and used a spoon to press out more of the liquid to reduce.

Then we heat up the remaining liquid to a fast boil and just let it reduce until thickened to your likening.
Add back the tomato flesh and heat through. Throw in any spices you like as well. Oregano, etc. etc. All that Italian stuff. In our case we also added about 1/4 -1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar. We could have also added white wine vinegar. I've never been able to figure out whether the vinegar is needed more for taste, additional acidity, or as a thickening agent. I just know it works.
Then like magic you've got spaghetti sauce. In this case a lighter thin sauce. Absolutely delicious.
I will say we had about 2-3 lbs of tomatoes and we were both surprised just how much it reduced. I don't think it thickened as much as we thought it was going to. Still delicious but after being used to the jarred stuff it was just different. The taste though was superb. It took a little time but not too much effort. The result was a healthy non-processed yummy Italian treat.

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