Sunday, September 13, 2020

Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

pasta with heirloom tomato sauce and Parmesan
Recipe by Robin 

Heirloom tomatoes! Those oddly shaped, strangely colored, and remarkably hefty hunks of flavor! They’re all over the farmers’ markets in September, maybe even in your garden. Though delicious on their own, they also add old-fashioned flavor to homemade pasta sauce. Cook up some sauce today and freeze it for the winter. You’ll love the fresh summery aroma and taste come January.

closeup of pasta with heirloom tomato sauce
Looks and Tastes Sublime
This recipe features two types of onions, and both green bell pepper and sweet red peppers (I used Jimmy Nardellos and Corni di Toros). You can use these in any proportion, or substitute something zippier, like Hungarian wax peppers. Or use any peppers you have in your garden. Add some chopped jalapeno or Thai chilis for even more spiciness. The chunks of zucchini are cooked until just barely al dente, and the basil is stirred in at the end. That makes the sauce taste fresher and be more reheating-friendly, whether or not it’s been frozen.

Enjoy the last of the summer/fall heirloom harvest to the fullest. After the freeze, our annual heirloom harvest will be history.

Bowl of pasta with heirloom tomato sauce
Summer into Autumn Harvest
Heirloom Tomato Pasta Sauce

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ¾ lb. onions, chopped (2¾ cups)
  • ½ bunch scallions, sliced (½ cup)
  • 8 oz. green bell pepper, chopped (1½ cups)
  • 4 oz. sweet red peppers, chopped (¾ cup)
  • 4 cups seeded, chopped heirloom tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. dried Italian herbs mix
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 4 smallish zucchini (1¼ lbs.)
  • 25 oz. can tomato sauce or puree
  • ¼ - ½ cup finely chopped basil leaves

Heat oil to about 325 degrees F. in electric skillet. Add onions and scallions. Sauté until fragrant and partially softened, about 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add green and red peppers, stir, and continue sauté till peppers are softened, about 3 - 4 minutes. 

Add seeded and chopped tomatoes, Italian herbs, and garlic. Bring to boil and adjust heat to simmer, about 250 - 275 degrees F. Stir frequently until partially cooked down, about 8 - 10 minutes. 

Meanwhile, cut zucchini lengthwise into quarters. Slice quarters into ~¾ inch chunks. You will have about 4 cups. Add zucchini and tomato sauce or puree to tomato mixture. Bring back to simmer. Simmer 8 – 10 minutes more, until zucchini is al dente. 

Turn off heat, or remove pan from heat. Stir in basil thoroughly. Cover and let sit 5 – 10 minutes, till basil is completely wilted. 

Serve over pasta, Miracle Noodles (shiritaki), or cooked spaghetti squash, with or without Parmesan cheese.

Begin by Sauteing Savories
Add the Heirlooms
Add Garlic and Herbs and Simmer
Add Zucchini and Simmer Again
bowl of pasta with heirloom sauce
Stir in Basil till Wilted, and Serve

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