Over the summer, I was getting several pounds of tomatoes every week for a couple of months. I love tomatoes, but there are only so many that my family can eat. I froze two, one-gallon freezer bags full of them, dated the bags, and tucked them into my freezer.
Freezing tomatoes is very easy. All you need to do is pick out as many as you want, blanch them (which means place them in boiling water for 30-45 seconds), then immediately put them in an ice bath. Put them in a freezer bag, date the bag, and remember to use them within six months.
I used one of my bags of tomatoes to make gazpacho back in the late fall because I was already missing summer. I decided to use the second bag to make homemade tomato sauce for pasta this week.
The weather finally warmed up this weekend, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t still winter at the markets. The vendors at the farmers markets that I go to all have the same over-wintered vegetables, and while I love butternut squash, I’m hitting my limit. What do you do when you’re in this predicament? You’ve got three choices: order Chinese food, buy vegetables from the grocery store and make out-of-season recipes, or start exploring your other options at the Boston Public Market.
The BPM is an amazing place, and one that you should visit immediately if you’ve never been. They showcase great local vendors whose craft is anything from bakeries, to fish mongers, to brewers, to florists, there’s even a stall for handmade woolen knits. While there last weekend, I bought Squid Ink linguine from Nella Pasta. The long, thin, black strands look a little intimidating. Black pasta? Squid ink?! Avery, the man behind the counter at Nella Pasta who does regular cooking demos in the BPM kitchen, recommended it. They use squid ink from Red’s Best, a wholesaler that sources from local fishermen.
Walk around the BPM next time you’re in the North End, it’s really great. Tell Avery that The Clean Food Club sent you!
Homemade Tomato Sauce and Fresh Pasta
Makes 2 quarts tomato sauce
Total time: 25 minutes
In my basket:
4 lb mostly thawed, diced Tomatoes (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
2 cloves of Garlic (from Stearns Farm, Framingham MA)
1 lb Squid Ink Linguine (from Nella Pasta, Quincy MA)
From the pantry:
1 cup Olive oil
One large handful of fresh Basil
- In a large pot, combine tomatoes, garlic, oil, and salt to taste. Bring to a simmer, cook for 20-25 minutes, or until reduced and thickened to desired consistency. Use a masher to break up any big pieces of tomato.
- Turn off heat, add basil. Let cool.
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Scoop pasta into bowl and top with homemade sauce. Enjoy!
Freezing your tomato sauce? Simply pour the cooled sauce into a freezer bag, date, and remember to enjoy within six months.
Alice Kathryn Richardson is a new media photojournalist and creator of The Clean Food Club. She previously spent two years working on Deserts in the District, a series of short-form documentaries exploring food access and hunger in Washington, DC. She is committed to supporting local and sustainable food businesses by telling their stories with photo and video. Follow her on Twitter @AKR_Pictures.