Summer is coming to an end and I am looking forward to fall. I like to let go of summer every year and remember it romantically. At the start of summer I anticipate picnics, beach time, stargazing and dinners outside. The truth is I spend half of the summer trying to entertain my kids with beach or museum trips only for them to tell me after an outing “I’m bored.” The second half of the summer I am desperate for some relief so I try to get rid of them with camps and drop off play-dates only for them to tell me again “I’m bored.” By August, I feel burnt out and ready for school to begin. Come October everyone will be happy again because we have a little time apart from each other. Come April we will long for a break from our routine; we will long for summer again. Funny how that works.
Living in New England is a good fit for me because just as I am sick of one season and ready for the next, it changes quickly and quietly. One day the air is different, the light is lower and the leaves hint at what’s to come. My food cravings change as well. Right now I enjoy all of the beautiful summer fruit and vegetables we get in our CSA share every week because I know this bounty is coming to an end.
This week we got tomatoes. Nothing tastes better than a summer tomato. One of my favorite sandwiches is tomatoes, sliced with mayo on multi-grain bread with a little sea salt. This sandwich is simple and delicious. Typically, I throw our tomatoes into a salad or panzanella but I made a marinara sauce instead. This sauce tastes like summer because it is light and fresh. Also, this is a great way to use up tomatoes. Make a double batch and freeze the sauce. Pull it out in the dead of winter when you need to remember summer again.
Rinse the tomatoes and using a sharp knife put a x on the bottom of each tomato. Pour boiling water over the tomatoes and let them sit in the water for about a minute. Remove the tomatoes and allow to cool slightly. Once cooled, peel the skins and coarsely chop. If you want a chunky sauce leave the tomatoes coarsely chopped. If you want a smooth sauce; puree them in a blender for a few minutes.
a parmesan rind! The rind will add an incredible savory flavor to the sauce. I also added one bay leaf, a teaspoon of dried oregano, a spoonful of tomato paste and salt to taste.
The sauce should simmer for about an hour. Discard the bay leaf and parmesan rind once the sauce has finished simmering.
Serve sauce over cooked spaghetti with lots of parmesan cheese. A little chopped parsley or basil sprinkled on top is a nice addition too! Eat with a nice glass of red wine and enjoy!
End of Summer Marinara Sauce
Recipe inspired by Goop’s Basic Fresh Tomato Sauce
1/4 olive oil
6 medium ripe tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. of dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 parmesan rind
1 spoonful of tomato paste
Finely chop one small onion and mince two cloves of garlic. Heat a 1/4 of olive oil over medium heat and add the onions and garlic. Sauté for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Do not allow the onion and garlic to brown.
While the onion/garlic mixture is sautéing, score 6 tomatoes and pour boiling water over them. Allow the tomatoes to sit in the water for about 30 seconds. Drain the tomatoes and allow to cool slightly before peeling the skin. Remove the skin and coarsely chop. (If you don’t want a chunky sauce, puree the tomatoes in a blender for a few minutes.) Add tomatoes to onion and garlic mixture and stir to combine.
Add 1 bay leaf, 1 tsp. of dried oregano, 1 spoonful of tomato paste and 1 parmesan rind. Allow to simmer on low for about an hour. Remove the rind and bay leaf. Add kosher salt to taste.
Serve over spaghetti with lots of parmesan cheese and a bit of chopped parsley or basil. Enjoy!