A quick stop at my favorite farm stand always provides me with the answer to the age-old question, "What's for Dinner?" When I spied those beautiful Brandywine heirlooms; I knew what I'd be having!
I've been waiting and waiting for the tomatoes to appear. It's so funny because every time I go Kathy beats me to the punch and says, "They are not ready yet, and I can't control the weather." Hey it doesn't hurt to ask again.
I made a larger batch of sauce so I can make two meals out of it, just an easy way to get ahead in the kitchen especially when you know your time will be short. I used half of the Marinara sauce on top of some three cheese raviolis and the rest on a pork braciole. I will share both of those recipes with you shortly.
Brandywine Marinara Sauce
5 lbs. Brandywine tomatoes
2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped, finely (note the beautiful specimens I found at the market)
2 carrots, grated
2 stalks celery, chopped finely
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 ounces tomato paste
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2-3 tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
First you need to get the skin off the tomatoes. I cut mine in half and lay them on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment or a silpat for easy removal and even easier clean up. Place them in a 400 degree oven for 10 -12 minutes, cool for a few minutes and slip the skins off. Squeeze them over a strainer and get the seeds out. Make sure and reserve all the juices. I crush the tomatoes up with my hands.
Heat a large stockpot on medium-low and add olive oil. Add chopped onions, carrots and celery to pan and cook for 15-20 minutes, till cooked down and soft, if they are getting brown, turn down heat. Add garlic and tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes longer.
Add crushed tomatoes and juices, salt and pepper. Lower heat to simmer and cook for 30-40 minutes. Add the chopped basil after sauce is finished if you want the freshest flavor. I added a tablespoon or so of sugar because my sauce was a little acidic.