Thursday, September 1, 2011

A Family of Tomato Sauces

We have seen the last of this year’s vegetable garden.  It hasn’t rained here in over a month and with the heat what was a bounty in the Spring slowed quickly in the month of August.  Except for the basil - there’s so much I could wallpaper the entire house in basil leaves and still have plenty left over for pesto!

Using the last basket of tomatoes I made what is probably the best fresh tomato sauce in the world.  We’ve done this for many seasons and I can’t claim the recipe.  I first found it when my mother, Martha shared it with me.  My sister Giada has one of her own.  Not to be out done my aunt Ina has her own version.  All 3 sauces are very similar, but of course it’s impossible to get these 3 women to agree on anything, especially a thing as simple as a tomato sauce.  You should see what goes on in my kitchen when the 3 of them are here for the holidays.  It’s just a nightmare!

Martha does not cook her sauce.  It’s all about seasoning the tomatoes and letting them stand for a good period of time.  And, of course you have to use only freshly grown garden tomatoes!  It’s a robust sauce, like mother.  So, it holds up well with the whole grain pastas I usually serve it over. 

My sister Giada stole mom’s non cooked version, but changed it up by using small sweet cherry tomatoes and smaller pasta.  And, of course she uses a food processor - which is just another thing I usually have to wash!  I’m always stuck with the clean up.  They’re a train wreck in the kitchen.  The mess is incredible, especially after they throw back a few bottles of Chianti!

Aunt Ina, will only use cherry tomatoes and smaller pasta, but she just barely heats hers! 

I usually use mother Martha’s recipe.  It seems to be the fastest and simple to prepare.  I’ve tried each of them and they're all great. 

These photos are from our last batch.  Like my aunt and sister, I too change mother’s sauce and I used cherry tomatoes.  Mother Martha uses medium size tomatoes, but I find the small cherry or grape varieties to add even more sweetness to the sauce.

I’m posting all 3 recipes.  I can’t show preferential treatment to any one family member!

My Mother Martha's Version:


photos from Martha Stewart Living

My Aunt Ina's Version:

photos from House Beautiful

 My sister Giada's Version:

1 comment:

  1. With all these culinary superstars in your family, who cooks at Christmas?


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