Creamy Tomato Pasta Sauce

I invented this recipe last night. I think it’s a great recipe for people who have a few tomatoes they want to use for pasta sauce but not enough to be able to simmer them down to make a thick sauce. I used some of the first tomatoes of the 2013 season and herbs from the garden. I don’t have quantities because I was shooting from the hip, but I’m an enthusiastic believer in kitchen improvisation.

I used Black Sea Man tomatoes and a few Sprite tomatoes because that is what I had. Both are very juicy and not terribly meaty, so my sauce was quite watery, and since I didn’t have enough tomatoes to cook it down until it was thicker, I decided to make it a creamy sauce and thicken it with flour. I consider it a big success, and I would recommend this method to anyone who just has a few fresh garden tomatoes on hand and who wants to make pasta sauce with them. I didn’t use oregano with this sauce, because I’m somewhat allergic to it, but it would probably be a nice addition if people have some in their garden. Same thing with black pepper. I’m allergic to it, but it might be a nice addition. People who don’t have an herb garden could certainly use herbs from the store, either fresh or dried. I think slightly caramelized onions would probably be good in this also. I only just now thought of that, so for me the onions will have to wait until the next time I make this sauce.

I served this on top of whole wheat cappellini and steamed broccoli, but I think it would be good on all kinds of pasta, with whatever other vegetables people like to serve with their pasta.

Two or three pounds of tomatoes
Fresh thyme
Fresh basil
Fresh rosemary
Fresh fennel
Soy milk (other kinds of “milk” including cow’s milk would probably work as well, and for those who use dairy, cream or half and half would probably be awesome)
All purpose flour
A small amount of sugar (I used raw sugar)
Freshly ground salt to taste (I like pink Himalayan salt the best)
Extra virgin olive oil

I cored and cut up the tomatoes and cooked them in a covered saucepan until they were very mushy. Then I ran a wand blender through them and then strained them to remove the seeds and skins. I expect a regular blender would work just as well. I cut up the herbs into small pieces using a pair of kitchen scissors. I added to the strained tomatoes the herbs and garlic. I like to put my garlic through a press, but I don’t think that is necessary. I simmered this mixture for a while, maybe 20 to 40 minutes, until everything was cooked and the flavors were nicely distributed. Then I added the soy milk and the flour. I used enough soy milk to make the sauce creamy, maybe a cup to a cup and a half, and enough flour to just thicken the sauce, maybe a couple of tablespoons. I didn’t make a roux with the flour, although I imagine that would also work well. I just added the flour directly to the sauce while whisking. If people do that and experience lumps, they can run a wand blender through the sauce to break them up. Next, I added the sugar, salt, and olive oil to taste. Then I cooked the sauce under medium high heat while stirring constantly to thicken it. And that’s all there is to it.

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