I usually use jarred spaghetti sauces when I’m making pasta; they are simple, often tasty, and have a great consistency. However, with a few quarts of tomatoes canned, I wanted to see how my own tomatoes fared in a sauce. The answer was… okay?
Basically, I got home from work and we wanted to go for a run. I’m running a 6 mile race in two weeks (!!!) so I’m feeling the pressure to practice. I wanted to start on dinner though, so I lugged out the crockpot and chopped onions to put in the bottom while it heated up. I added oil, lots of herbs and spices, and tons of powdered garlic. Once it started to smell nice, I added in a quart and a bit of my canned tomatoes, the ones that didn’t have lemon juice in them and thus have been living in the refrigerator. Then we went to the gym and stopped by the grocery store, all of which took about an hour.
The sauce still looked pretty soupy when I got back, so we did all the things we needed to do: put away groceries, threw some fettuccine on to boil, browned some ground beef to add for substance. I pulled out cheese to put on top, Husband set the table and, despite being on high, the sauce was still just.. thin. I took my stick blender to it, hoping that some of the tomatoes, which were nearly whole when they were canned, would smooth out into a thicker sauce. We heated up some baguettes with garlic on them in the pan where we browned the meat, making some nice toasty garlic bread. The sauce was indeed more consistent, but still had a lot more water than needed. We were very hungry after our run (I ran 43 minutes! So crazy for me, who used to quit when I had run 6 or 7 minutes.) so we decided to proceed.
In the end, the sauce was delicious – well flavored, very tomato-ey, but had pooling edges of water outside the piles of pasta. If I had it to do again (and I probably will next week), I’d put the tomatoes, spices, oil, onion, etc. in the crockpot in the morning and give them all day to meld and really break down, as well as evaporate off a little. The meal was wonderful, especially because we were quite hungry, but there’s always room for improvement.