I love the crockpot! If there is an occasion to use it, I will find it. Dealing with my abundance of homegrown tomatoes was one of those occasions. (never mind that one fruit that doesn’t belong in the pic…) Cooking up a pot of a delicious sauce is also a big money saver for us! There is only one brand of jarred sauce that I have found suitable for fructose malabsorption and that is Rao’s Sensitive Formula – and we like this sauce very much! It is made with no onion, garlic or added sugar, it has a smooth texture and both kids really like it. But! It is quite expensive. I’ll find it on sale (rarely happens) and stock up during the winter months.
This recipe was snap, I threw it all in the crockpot and set it on high and let go for the day.
Here are the details:
I used fresh herbs gathered from our garden, 4-5 sprigs of oregano and about 30 leaves of basil. 25 tomatoes of varying sizes equalling about 20 cups were washed. The larger tomatoes were cut up into smaller pieces. No need to peel or seed them, I use the whole fruit. One lonely red pepper was chopped up as well. Feel free to add more or less herbs, and if you don’t have fresh, dried will work as well, but you will have to alter your measurements and taste as you go.
I added about 1-2 Tablespoons of garlic oil to the bottom of the crock pot to get the aroma going. Once all of the herbs and veggies were tucked into the crockpot I finished up with a tablespoon of salt and a few grinds of pepper. Set it on high and placed the lid on. After two hours, once the juices were boiling, I opened the lid a bit to allow the steam to evaporate – that way the sauce thickened up a bit. I cooked it on high for another 6 hours. I really like a thick and rich sauce, one that has cooked for hours. I’m sure it could have been used a little sooner, but I like the richness that is developed with an all day cooking.
Once it is cooked to perfection:
Next, I used an emersion blender to puree the sauce. You can certainly use a regular blender and ladle it in batches. I love my “boat motor” blender – I’ve had it for 15 years and it still works like a champ. I did let the sauce cool for several hours prior to blending it. If you do this while the sauce is hot – be careful!
The sauce was blended until silky smooth, sometimes a chunky sauce is good. I think this sauce is better smooth to blend in the peels, seeds and herbs. Now it is ready to use on your favorite pasta or portioned out for the freezer. We are certainly going to welcome the taste of fresh grown tomatoes come this winter. This batch yielded 5 quart containers.