Make a ton of this in advance and freeze for later use. It is a little time consuming, it's undeniably one of the easiest ways to save money on a kitchen staple, and take greater control over what you are putting in your body. Salt, preservatives, needless sugar, once all of that is stripped away, you can actually taste the vegetables. So remember: the finished product is only as good as the base ingredients, go to a produce stand, buy some decent wine, and select herbs and spices you trust or grew yourself. —Michael
Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes
Ripe Cherry Tomatoes
Red Onion, fine mince
Italian (flat leaf) parsely
Schmaltz or Chicken Fat
Good Cabernet Sauvignon
In This Recipe
In a large pot, bring enough salted water to cover all your tomatoes to a boil. Drop the kids in the bath.
There is much argument as to how long a tomato needs to blanch to be skinned. Just watch them.
In a heavy, deep dutch oven, heat the bacon fat, Schmaltz, and olive oil over medium-low heat. Any fat will do,the meat or fat conscious substitute olive oil.
Prepare an ice water bath in another container. As you see the tomatoes start to lose their skin in the pot of boiling water, carefully remove them to the ice water bath with a slotted spoon.
Your Dutch Oven should have a nice coating of melty, delicious fat in it, by now. Lower the heat and add the onions, stirring to coat everyone evenly in the hot fat.
Sauté and soften the onions until translucent.
As the onions soften, to keep your eye on the tomatoes, removing them as needed from the boil to the ice-bath, and peeling as they cool. Roughly chop the peeled tomatoes. Or, using a sturdy potato masher and a fine mesh colander, smash the fruits as thoroughly as possible, reserve plenty of the liquid that comes out of them.
As the onions soften. Add the garlic and bay leaf and cover the dutch oven. Turn heat to high.
Deglaze the dutch oven with a splash or two of the Cabernet, making sure to scrape the bottom for any fond.
Add the tomatoes, several entire parsley sprigs, the other bay leaf, and half the bottle of Cabernet and the tomato paste. .
Stir often, and keep things at a rapid simmer -not a boil- for half an hour. Taste. and adjust salt and pepper as needed.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Regularly stir the sauce until the tomatoes have broken down and most of the liquid has cooked off.
Serve over pasta, as a dipping sauce, freeze the leftovers in air-tight containers, ice cube trays