Too many tomatoes?

UPDATE – Recommendation:  Here’s an added tip to the following directions for skinning fresh tomatoes and freezing before use to make a delicious pasta sauce.  If you prefer to ‘seed’ tomatoes (as much as you can’ before making sauce, then BEFORE FREEZING, cut out the stem area, cut each tomato in half across the middle, and the most of the seeds will squeeze right out.  (I found it harder to get the ‘seed’ the tomatoes once frozen whole, even after defrosting before use.  Hope that helps!

Now onto the original post:

Summer gardens are the best!  Fresh fruits and vegetables that pop with flavor and keep you coming back for more and more.  As much as we love them, we usually find that they are all ripe ready in large bunches – so what to do with all of them?  Here’s an idea for garden fresh tomatoes that can be put ‘on hold’ until you’re ready to make your next batch of homemade pasta sauce:  Fresh Frozen Peeled Tomatoes!

Picture of Fresh Frozen Peeled Tomatoes

Fresh Frozen Peeled Tomatoes

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil
  • Have a large bowl of ice water on hand
  • Rinse tomatoes and cut a small ‘X’ opposite the stem end
  • Drop in batches of 4-5 into boiling water
  • 45-60 seconds later you’ll see the ‘X’ start to split up the sides
  • Remove tomatoes to ice bath with slotted spoon
  • Skin will easily peel away!

Line a sheet pan with parchment or wax paper and place peeled tomatoes on sheet pan.  Place sheet pan in freezer until tomatoes are frozen.  Transfer to freezer bag and store for up to 6 months – defrosting when you’re ready to make fresh homemade pasta sauce!

Ciao e Buon appetito!

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Red and Robust – Arrabiatta Sauce

Simple Christmas day dinner with homemade cavatelli (compliments of Assenti Pasta in Little Italy, San Diego) and my version of a homemade arrabiatta sauce, complete with salad and garlic bread.

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An arrabiatta sauce is red pasta sauce with a spicy kick!  I started by browning a couple of 1/4 inch-thick slices of pancetta (small cubed) in 2-3 TBLS olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  When golden brown, remove pancetta from oil with a slotted spoon and set aside.  Add 1/2 diced yellow onion to hot oil and season with salt/pepper.  Cook about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add in 2 cloves of finely chopped garlic and a teaspoon of red pepper flakes.  Cook for another minute or so, stirring constantly so not to scorch the garlic.  Add in a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and stir.  Add back the cooked pancetta and simmer over low heat for about 30 minutes.  While simmering, add in a handful of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and a splash of red wine.  Season to taste with more salt, pepper, and/or red pepper flakes to your individual liking.)

Cook pasta, drain, and serve with spicy arrabiatta sauce – buon appetito!