DEVOUR & CONQUER

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Fresh Roma Tomato Marinara Sauce

December 10, 2014

 

It's another Windset Wednesday here on Devour & Conquer and today I'm focusing on Windset Roma Tomatoes and sharing a recipe to create a from-scratch, homemade Fresh Tomato Marinara sauce.

Using ripe Roma tomatoes rather than canned brings subtle sweetness and a big burst of fresh flavour to this sauce. One box of Windset Farms vine-ripened Roma tomatoes makes enough sauce for a large family meal, or dinner for two & tomorrow's lunch. This marinara sauce is a great base for many classics from spaghetti & meatballs and homemade pizza (try Devour & Conquer's homemade pizza dough) to hearty chicken cacciatore and eggplant parmigiana.

While this fresh tomato sauce won't have the deep red colour of a canned tomato marinara, it cooks to a lovely golden orange hue and the flavour is something completely different from canned or jarred sauces - bright, sweet and savoury all at once, and perfect garnished with grated Parmesan and fresh herbs.

Windset Farms knows how to grow tomatoes right

Savvy North American tomato eaters already know all about the quality and flavour of green-house grown Windset tomatoes, but now the whole world knows as well. In February of this year in Berlin, Germany, the family-run Windset Farms beat out 50 select tomato international growers to win the title of Best Tomato Growers in the World. That's one heck of an accolade chosen by leading horticultural suppliers, and well deserved for this British Columbia-based Canadian business.

While Windset Farms remains honoured and humbled by the award, and shares the credit for their win to the entire team, it doesn't mean you can't have a little brag. The next time you serve a Windset Farms-based tomato dish such as the sauce below, tell your family you made dinner with tomatoes grown by the world's best tomato growers. Aren't we lucky?

Benefits of Lycopene in cooked tomatoes

Did you know that cooking tomatoes increases their health benefits? While fresh tomatoes are naturally high in Vitamin C, cooking them activates a special healing substance called Lycopene. This photochemical is what causes the deep red colour in tomatoes and when exposed to heat, it becomes a powerful cancer-fighting agent and anti-oxidant, helping to clean toxins from the blood.

While fresh tomatoes should continue to be a healthy (and delicious) part of your diet, fire up the heat from time to time to active this fruit's secret superpower.

 

Fresh Roma Tomato Marinara Sauce

Ingredients

8 Windset Farms Roma tomatoes

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped (plus extra for garnish) or 1 tsp dried oregano

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped (plus extra for garnish), or 1 tsp dried basil

1 tablespoon canola oil

sea salt and black pepper to taste

Start by prepping to blanch and peel your tomatoes by boiling a large pot of water and filling a bowl with several cups of ice and cold water. Peeling the fresh tomatoes is the fiddly part of this easy recipe, but it doesn't take long and results in a better textured sauce.

Wash tomatoes and slice a shallow nick into each skin with a knife (this will help the skins slide off). Drop four at a time in boiling water for approximately 1 minute, then remove with a slotted spoon when skins begin to split and peel, and drop them into the bowl of ice water for 1 minute. Slip the skins off with your fingers. Chop the skinned tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Set aside. Time Saver Note: If you're making a pasta dish with this sauce, put a lid on the tomato blanching water pot after use and keep it ready on a back burner to re-heat and boil your pasta later.

Heat a frying pan on medium. Fine chop the onion and garlic and add to the pan with 1 tablespoon canola oil and a dash of sea salt. Saute until translucent and soften. Time Saver Note: If you're a good kitchen multi-tasker, get your onion and garlic sauteing on a back burner of the stove, stirring occasionally while you blanch, peel and chop your tomatoes to save time.

Add the chopped fresh tomatoes, oregano, basil, black pepper and an additional dash of sea salt. Bring to a boil in the pan, then reduce heat to medium low and simmer the tomatoes for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally and letting the tomatoes release their moisture and cook until they soften and the sauce becomes thick.

Leave the sauce chunky and rustic, or puree with a hand blender, food processor or blender until smooth and silky.

Serve over pasta or use in your favourite marinara-based dish.

Devour!

Want more ideas of how to use Windset Farms vegetables in your own kitchen? Try this trio of roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Hummus recipes, a great appetizer for afternoon snacking and parties.

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