Nanette’s Pasta Sauce

Posted September 26th, 2014 by Nanette Heffernan. Comment (0).

San MarzanosSeveral years ago I was on the hunt for the perfect pasta sauce. Nothing too ketchupy, acidic, or pasty. Convinced it was all in the tomatoes, while on vacation in Italy, I asked every Nonna, produce clerk, and chef I could find. Of course, each had their own family recipe, but one ingredient that had more first place votes than the rest was the infamous San Marzano tomato.

Since then, I plant fifteen San Marzano plants every season, which produce enough for me to make nearly three cases (36 quart jars) of the best pasta sauce you’ve ever tasted. Below is my recipe. It will make enough for dinner tonight plus one jar left over that you can freeze. Buon Appetito!

Nanette’s Pasta Sauce (makes 2 quarts)
1 – medium onion, chopped
8-12 – cloves garlic, mashed
1 – cup extra virgin olive oil
4 lbs. – San Marzano tomatoes cut in half
4 – large fresh basil leaves
Salt to taste

Sauté onion and garlic, in olive oil, in a large pot until soft. Add tomatoes. Cook over low until reduced in half (4 or so hours). Puree with a hand blender until smooth. Add basil leaves and salt. Continue to cook until desired thickness (2 or more hours). Note: if you don’t puree the sauce enough you may end up with tiny pieces of skin. You can also blanch the tomatoes before adding them, but I prefer the skins in the sauce.

Gardener’s Note: San Marzano plants are particularly susceptible to blossom end rot. I’ve had this destroy over half my crop in certain years. Here are a few links to find more information on blossom end rot:

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