Recipe: Spicy Tomato Sauce

Recently, I purchased too many beefsteak tomatoes and ended up wondering how to use them before they rotted.  I hate wasting food, to the point that I save my parmesan cheese rinds to add flavor to soups and sauces.  I just put the rinds in a freezer bag or container and freeze them until needed

For the sauce you will need:

2 cloves garlic

2 pounds beefsteak or other large tomato

Parmesan cheese rind (no need to defrost, it can go straight from the freezer to the pot)

Pinch of dried red chili flakes (¼ to ½ tsp)

2 tsps salt

Handful (10-12 big leaves) of basil, torn or roughly chopped by hand

Steps 1 and 2

1. Finely chop the garlic.  I actually use a microplane.  I saw it on Rachel Ray.  She may be annoying, but she does have really good advice…

2. Quarter the tomatoes and remove the columella. (the brown circle in the top of the tomato)  I had to look that up, I wasn’t sure what to call that brown area and then I saw the real name and realized, I need pictures.Steps 3 and 4

3. Lightly coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil.  Add the garlic and let it cook for a minute, or until fragrant.

4. Add the tomatoes by tearing them into smallish pieces.  I don’t chop them; I break them apart with my hands.

5. Allow the tomatoes to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes over a medium high heat to evaporate some of the liquid.  This creates a thicker, richer tasting sauce.  Reduce heat to medium low and add the salt, red chili flakes and the Parmesan cheese rind.

6. Allow to simmer for twenty minutes, uncovered, on medium low heat.  Remove the rind.  If you have fresh basil, tear some pieces up and add them to the sauce at the last minute.

Step 5

Goes great with pasta, gnocchi or over polenta.

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