FINALLY!!! Our tomato harvest is in full swing, bushes are loaded, and they are demanding attention. If you are in the same boat as I am, here is an answer to your dilemma. I have canned tomatoes for nearly forty years, and was desperate to find an easier, less messy and time consuming way to deal with them. Enter our two ingredient, slow cooker tomato sauce – truly the easiest and most delicious tomato sauce I’ve ever eaten. Throw it into a crockpot, and after it’s cooked down by half, blend the living daylights out of it, and freeze. No seeding, no peeling – just pure tomato.
As much as it pains me to say this…and it does, I may owe the success of our tomato harvest to my mother, Neeners. I finally succumbed to her constant nagging to “Cut those tomato bushes back – they need the sun!!” When I mentioned to her that I had recently read an article in Mother Earth News that said just the opposite, you may imagine the response I received. “To Hell with Mother Earth. I AM MOTHER EARTH!!! Listen to me!!” I noted that Mother Earth was not a person, but a magazine. She snorted “Then I am going to send her a letter and tell her how messed up she is and she is no kind of Mother Earth in my book.” At that point I gave up on the whole entire business, handed her some clippers, and told her to snip to her hearts content.
I can never be happy with just red tomatoes, and refuse to grow them because Neeners only grows red ones. Since we share I garden, I just ‘borrow’ hers when she’s not looking an make red sauce, but also make sauce out of those beautiful yellow and orange varieties, and I even made a sauce out of the ripe, green tomatoes this year. There are just so many colors and flavors to choose from I can’t stop myself. OK, let’s get down to business – but it is easy business. No peeling. No seeding. Just cut the stem ends off and trim off what I like to call the tomato rump if there are any spots on the tail end. Pile up your crockpot to the top, add some salt, turn the cooker on high, and let them go.
They will give up a lot of juice right away. This is a good thing, so let them go about their business.In an hour or two they will get all broken up. Once the tomatoes have cooked through and are bubbling away, I take the lid off the crockpot and turn it sideways so steam can escape, Things stay this way for another 2-4 hours until much of the excess moisture has evaporated (reduce by about half from where you started). Nice and thick, colors and flavors INTENSE. Let it cool for a little while, then put into a blender. I usually do about 3 cups or so at a time to make sure the blender has plenty of room to work. We are going for maximum blending since we are pulverizing the tomato skin and seeds. Let her rip! All that’s left is putting them into jars. Fill about 3/4 inch from the top to give them room to expand while freezing. Thick, rich, and super sweet. And did you know that the skins and seeds of tomatoes are some of their healthiest parts? You are now a total tomato smarty pants!
This recipe does not require ‘sauce’ tomatoes, like Roma. Any type or color of tomato will work – it’s all about taking the time to reduce the sauce in the slow cooker. Neeners uses her sauce to make chili, or ‘man bait’ as I like to call it. Watch out all you eligible, or even non-eligible men out there over the age of 21 (she will require somebody who can take her out for cocktails). If Neeners offers you chili – RUN. This sauce is also a perfect beginning to not only chili, but soups, stews, vegetable bakes, or hearty rice dishes. My very favorite way to use it is with spaghetti sauce. Here, at the end of a very long day, I just tossed both some leftover red and yellow sauce with some pasta, added some cheese and fresh basil, and chowed it down. I didn’t even bother to throw it in the oven, and it was awesome. Food doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious, as we all know. Dig in.
Happy saucing everyone! It’s so nice to be able to pull a jar of Summer out of your freezer in those cold months to come.
Thanks so much for reading today – we really appreciate your support. xoxoxoxo
- Spray the inside of your slow cooker with cooking spray.
- Remove stem and rump end from tomatoes. Slice in half or quarter, and place into slow cooker, filling the cooker nearly to the top.
- Add salt to taste. You might want to start with about 2 teaspoons.
- Allow to come to a boil (this might take a couple of hours.
- Remove lid or set lid on sideways to allow steam to escape. Let the mixture continue to cook until reduced and thickened to your taste (I try to aim for reducing it by half).
- Allow to cool slightly or all the way - your call. Blend with a blender until skins have been fully blended and are not visible.
- Freeze in glass or plastic freezer bags. If freezing in glass, allow a generous ½ - ¾ inch headspace to allow for expansion during freezing.