I have been waiting for a day like today. Beautiful weather, perfect spring day. I opened the windows and caught the spring cleaning bug. I’m feeling very accomplished today and am looking forward to relaxing tonight. I’m tired, but in a good way.
Tonight for meatless Monday I am putting together a quick red sauce to go with my ricotta and spinach lasagna. During the summer I get Springdell tomatoes in bulk and make huge batches of sauce to freeze and use all year long. Delicious with fresh herbs and beautiful summer tomatoes. Today when I peeked in the fridge I had a bunch of tomatoes from the share (and the last one too!), a bit of spinach left and the remaining ricotta cheese. I decided to simmer some of my “quick sauce” for dinner tonight.
Start by getting a big pot of water almost to a boil and pulling the stems off of the tomatoes. Then cut up an onion and 2-3 cloves of garlic. Get those going in a pot with some olive oil and a bit of salt.
Put the tomatoes into the almost boiling water and let them simmer until the skins start to split. Pull them out and put them into a bowl of cool water in the sink. The skins should peel off easily now.
Peel all of them at using a paring knife take out the core of the tomato. I didn’t take the seeds out this time, but I often do, or I take the seeds out of at least half of the tomatoes.
Add them to the pot with the garlic and onion that has been letting off its goodness and making the kitchen smell so good!
Now, throw in one bay leaf, about a tablespoon of fennel seeds, about a tablespoon of salt, and for my quick sauce I use a squeeze of tomato paste as well.
Give it it a stir and walk away. The longer it goes the better the flavor, if the .liquid gets too low, I add stock back in. Nothing wrong with adding in more flavor, right? Always taste and adjust seasonings.
After a minimum of 30 minutes (mine was about an hour), use a stick blender or immersion blender to make a nice smooth sauce. Don’t forget to take our the bay leaf before you blend! If you don’t have one of these it’s a really great kitchen tool, I recommend it.