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Tomatoes and Bacon and Herbs – Oh my! October 5, 2010

Posted by Toy Lady in Food, Garden.

Yes, I’ve still got tomatoes – we haven’t been afflicted yet by The Frost.

One of the reasons I love living near a great lake – it’s a little cooler here in the summer, and a little warmer in the winter.  According to the Zone Map, we’re a little “hardier” than most of upstate New York – I love that.  It extends my season just enough to feel like I’m getting a bonus of sorts.

PhotobucketSo anyway, once again, I had a giant bowl full of tomatoes to use up, but not enough to can.  I have GOT to get that figured out before next year, don’t I?

I decided that a Fresh Tomato Sauce was the way to go this time.

Not just any tomato sauce – Cook’s Illustrated‘s fresh tomato sauce with rosemary and bacon.  My garden rosemary is still happy, and, as we all know, we’ve got bacon!


So the first thing I did (after peeling the tomatoes) was cook 6 ounces of bacon – first it got sliced into 1/2-inch strips – cooked, then removed from the pan.

And of course,  while I was cooking the bacon, I chopped up the tomatoes into about 1/2-inch pieces.

Lots of tomatoes, lots of chopping.

I don’t mind, really.  It’s good to practice my knife skills, actually.


Once the bacon was cooked, we just remove that and drain it, leaving the bacon grease in the pan.

PhotobucketHey, fat is fat, right?  There’s not really a huge difference, in the long run,  between frying in bacon fat and frying in olive oil.

And, of course, waste not want not.

Anyway, you’re gonna want to saute a couple of cloves of minced garlic, along with some chopped fresh rosemary (about a teaspoon or two) and a bit of crushed red pepper (maybe 1/2 tsp.).

PhotobucketJust let that cook over medium-high heat for half a minute or so until it’s fragrant – you’ll smell the garlic and the rosemary.

Then add the bowl full of diced tomatoes.

Let that cook together until the tomatoes start to lose their discrete shape and, essentially, start to become mush.

Does anyone know the word for that?  Neither Peeps nor I can quite put our fingers on it, and we know it’s out there.


So anyway.

Once your tomatoes start to cook down and form a “chunky sauce,” you may or may not want to hit the sauce with the stick blender – it’s totally up to you.

Sometimes you want smooth and sometimes you prefer it chunkier.

You know how it is.

PhotobucketSo anyway.  Once the sauce was as done – and as smooth – as we wanted, we simply tossed a handful of chopped parsley in, along with the bacon that we set aside earlier (remember the bacon?) and, in our case, we set it aside for a couple of days until the designated dinner.

When it was time to enjoy our fresh pasta sauce, it was a simple matter to reheat the sauce while the pasta was cooking, adjust the seasoning (with salt, pepper, and sugar as necessary), and you’re ready to go.


Toss the fresh tomato sauce with some freshly-cooked pasta (we like the Barilla Plus squirly pasta – it’s hearty and healthy, and still tasty) (plus it’s practically a local company now), and, along with some grated romano cheese, and you’re got a lovely, tasty garden-fresh dinner.

Plus leftovers, which I’ll tell you what I did with those later on!


1. Christy @ Sumners In Scotland - October 5, 2010

Wonderful! I love homemade tomato sauce. What wonderful harvest of tomatoes you have!

Thanks, Christy, and welcome! Sadly, our tomatoes are almost done for the year, but we’ve got plenty of goodies stashed in the freezer. 🙂

2. mazco34 - October 5, 2010

Sometimes, mind you, just sometimes, I really get jealous. We tried homeade sauce with Jersey tomatoes and it was sort of, awful. It was a waste of great eating/slicing tomatoes. I would have loved to try that sauce.

We did a fresh sauce a few years back that was pretty . . . not great, too. And we did an uncooked sauce a few weeks ago that was, uh, not so good either. This one was a nice compromise – cooked just enough (with bacon, no less!), yet still fresh-tasting.

3. judy - October 5, 2010

Looks mighty tasty to me! Enjoy every bite.

Thanks, Jude. It was very good – especially this late in the season, when every fresh-picked tomato is, essentially, on borrowed time. 😉

4. Susan - October 6, 2010

Probably because she was tired of hearing about my eternal tomato chopping, Mom found me a foley’s food mill at a garage sale. I used it yesterday to make tomato sauce – have you ever used one? Any hints? I hear they’re good for making applesauce too.
BTW – your sauce looks heavenly!!


About the food mill – yes, I “borrowed” my mother’s several years ago for grapes, and she never asked for it back. Eventually, during the year of the Tomato Episode, the thing broke, and we each, separately, ended up buying a new one. 😕 So now we’re a two-food mill family. 🙄

The only other thing I use them for that I can think of, is concord grapes. And the only hint I’ve got is to take a page out of Tom Sawyer’s book and try to con someone else into doing the work. 😀

5. Leftover Pasta, You Say? « Dark Side of the Fridge - October 7, 2010

[…] mean, yeah, I suppose, maybe, if you start your sauce with “take a big old bowl of tomatoes” – well, I guess you’re bound to end […]

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