Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Farm Fresh Harvest Pasta Sauce

Just days before our trip, while I was in fact hip deep in Concord grapes, cherry tomatoes, and other fresh produce that wouldn't wait for our return, we stopped to chat with a neighbor while on a walk through the neighborhood....

This neighbor, who has a small farm, was busy that day harvesting everything she possibly could before they moved. They were being forced out, not by a giant food conglomerate, and not by the government policies that hobble small farms. No, it was the simple act of their rent being raised to the point where they could no longer afford to remain. It's a sweet little farm with a tidy little house to one side with contented cows, happy pigs, and chatty chickens wandering about. The kind of sweet little farm that could only exist because of the hard work and commitment of two conscientious and genuinely nice people.

She asked if we'd like some tomatoes
Well, we couldn't say no. Who can say no to homegrown tomatoes? We may have had a truckload of cherry tomatoes this summer, but it's a little hard to make a BLT with tomatoes the size of marbles. So we finished our walk and Hubby went back over with a bowl. What he returned with were the most glorious Roma tomatoes I'd ever seen. There were a couple of big heirloom beauties also, and an onion that left me speechless, it was so fat and healthy looking.

When in Roma
But it was the Romas that I couldn't take my eyes off of. Romas, the one tomato we can't seem to grow... and suddenly there was a mixing bowl full of them on my counter just radiating health and beauty. Speaking of health and beauty, our basil plants that have been struggling along all summer have finally started to burst forth and look like they should. Perfect timing I'd say! Farm tomatoes and front yard basil... time to make an awesome pasta sauce... and can it too.

Chunky Tomato-Basil Pasta Sauce
from page 230 of The Complete Book Of Small Batch Preserving by Topp & Howard
Find the recipe and more on Just The Right Size blog

My Notes: I had exactly the amount of tomatoes that the recipe called for... exactly. Since the onion was SO large, I only used half of it (the other half got chopped up and put in the freezer). The recipe stated a yield of  8 cups, but I had 4.5 pints (9 cups) when all was said and done. I always, always, always, prep more jars than I think I'll need. Every so often, like this time, I'm glad I did.

This sauce smelled so great while it was cooking, I have no doubt that it will taste wonderful when we break it out this winter on some hot buttery noodles... yum! I can't wait! Of course you don't have to can it... you could make it and eat it the same day, but right now, I'm all about preserving the fresh harvest against the dreariness of winter to come. And yeah, winters can be dreary even without extreme weather!

Happy Canning!
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  1. Yummmmmmmm!!!! You will be sending your dear neighbors a friendly thought with each bite of this gorgeous sauce. :)

    1. Yes, exactly! Thinking of them and hoping they find the perfect "farm friendly" location.


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