tomatoes growing on the vine

The best solution for all your fresh tomatoes

Summer produce!

If you are fortunate enough to have space to grow your own fruit and vegetables, likely is, if you’re in the UK, you are now starting to see all those green tomatoes starting to turn orange, then red, ready for picking. Maybe you have gone fancy with stripy tomatoes, or even tried your hand at growing black tomatoes (yes, there is such a thing)! Anyway, hopefully you have a lovely load of tomatoes ready for harvesting – or your neighbour, friend, Auntie, cousin, or local allotment field have loads spare they are willing to share! I have tomatoes growing both in my greenhouse at home and at my allotment, as they really are a fantastic ingredient for many a recipe!

tomatoes growing on the vine
Tomatoes by Justus Menke on Unsplash

Fresh or cooked?

Of course, you can harvest and eat your tomatoes fresh from the vine, maybe sliced with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar, or with a sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper. However, if you have a glut of tomatoes, more than you can comfortably eat (or store and eat), then cooking them is the perfect way to ensure they get eaten. If you prefer to eat your tomatoes whole (or want a really easy option), try these roasted tomatoes.

fresh vine tomatoes
Tomatoes by Julia Nagy on Pexels

The tomato recipe

This recipe is perfect to use up all those tomatoes which are getting a bit too ripe to eat. Once you have made your tomato base, there are various ways you can use it. The best way is as a sauce base, which you then add extra spices to to make a chilli, a curry, a bolognese, a soup, a pasta or a casserole. Hopefully you’ve guessed that the main ingredient in this dish is tomatoes! Then you need a few seasonings and spices and water and you’re good to go! I’ve written the recipe for regular sized tomatoes, but absolutely any type of tomato will do, just adjust the amounts accordingly! Cherry tomatoes, beef tomatoes, stripy, black, red, orange, or a mixture of whatever you have will all work well.


Tomato Base Recipe

A tomato base for many a recipe, including bolognese, curry, soup and chilli.

Course: dinner, lunch, main, starter
Keyword: base recipe, tomato, tomato based soup, tomatoes
Created by:: Laurena @LifeDietHealth
Gather
  • 15-20 medium tomatoes
  • 1-2 litres boiling water
  • 1/2-2 teaspoons salt (I use Maldon sea salt)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon garlic granules (or use 1-3 fresh garlic cloves diced)
Prepare
  1. Wash your tomatoes, then using a sharp knife, carefully cut the core out of each tomato in a circular motion (you should end up with a cone type shape).

  2. Cut a cross into the flesh on the bottom each tomato, and again on the top (over the space you've made removing the core).

  3. Bring a small pan of water to the boil and carefully lower 3-4 tomatoes at a time into the water. Wait 30 seconds, then using a slotted spoon, remove the tomatoes and set aside. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.

  4. While the tomatoes are still warm, use a knife to peel the skin off. This should be easy as the skins should have loosened. Return any to the pan which are tricky. Discard the skins (compost them with the cores).

  5. Roughly chop all of the tomatoes, ensuring you capture the juice. Tip everything into a large saucepan. Turn the heat on low and set a timer for 5 minutes. Check the tomatoes and add a ladleful of the water if needed (you are looking for a sauce consistency).

  6. Add the salt, pepper and garlic to the pan and continue to cook for 30 minutes, checking and stirring at regular intervals. The tomatoes should disintegrate through time leaving you with a smooth sauce. Do a taste test and adjust the seasoning if required.

  7. Use immediately over pasta, or cool and store for use later.

  8. Enjoy!

What do I need?

Here are a few items you may find useful for this recipe. I may receive a small commission if you click and purchase through these links (this is at no additional cost to you)!



Serving

You can serve this tomato sauce as it is over pasta, perhaps with a sprinkling of Italian herbs or basil, with cheese of your choice grated on top. Alternatively, reduce the sauce a bit further and use as a pizza sauce – either use pizza dough, tortilla wraps or baguettes cut in half, add your toppings, cheese and bake until the cheese is bubbling. To use the sauce as a base, use as you would passata or tinned tomatoes, adding your spices relevant to the dish, along with your additional vegetables and protein. Add some stock to your tomatoes (water and gravy powder or a stock cube work too), blitz in blender, add your favourite herbs and eat as a fresh soup.

pasta with fresh tomato sauce
Tomato pasta by Vincent Rivaud on Pexels

Storing

Now you’ve made your sauce, you can store it in the fridge for five days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in portions for up to 3 months. Remember to label and date everything you freeze. This can also be frozen into ice cube trays, so you’ve always got some easy tomato flavour handy.

homemade tomato sauce in a glass jar
Tomato sauce by Anshu A on Unsplash

Sharing

Have you got a glut of tomatoes that need using? What will you do with your sauce and are you adding anything to it? If you have other homegrown vegetables that need using, make this seasonal soup (you can add some of the tomato base to this recipe too).

As always, I love hearing about any recipes of mine you try, any ideas you adapt or suggestions you have for future recipes. Please share and tag me @LifeDietHealth or using #LifeDietHealth on InstagramPinterest,  Facebook or Twitter (X)

Leave me a comment below… I love to chat!

I hope to speak with you soon

Laurena x



fresh pizza with tomato sauce
Tomato base on Pizza by Mathias Reding on Pexels

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