By Erin Walgamuth
Around this time of year the tomato plants in my vegetable garden are heavy with ripened fruit. My family and I look forward to the addition of these luscious gems to our weekly meals.
One of our favorites is a simple pasta sauce that is packed with flavor and fills the kitchen with a wonderful aroma.
If you do not have a vegetable garden of your own, I highly recommend paying a visit to the Farmer’s Market at College of the Canyons which is held on Sunday mornings, or the Old Town Newhall Farmer’s Market which is held on Thursdays from 3-7pm. Look for vine ripened tomatoes as they will have the best flavor. I also recommend buying fresh basil while you are at the Farmer’s Market as well. The last time I was there I purchased a small bunch of fresh basil for $1.00, now you can’t beat that unless you have an herb garden of your own.
Fresh and Simple Pasta Sauce
12 vine ripened tomatoes washed, stem ends removed and coarsely chopped (yields approximately 6 cups). I use Roma tomatoes
3 medium garlic cloves finely minced or use a garlic press
½ teaspoon Kosher Salt
3 tablespoons capers, drained. Trader Joe’s has the best price.
1/3 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and finely chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
Place olive oil and garlic in a 12 inch sauce pan and let rest while you chop tomatoes and slice basil. Turn heat on to medium-low and sauté garlic for about 30 seconds, and then add tomatoes and salt. Stir with a wooden spoon for about 30 seconds. Add capers and basil leaves, stir to combine. Turn heat up to medium and let sauce simmer, stirring occasionally for about 30 minutes or until tomatoes have broken down and sauce has thickened.
Pour the sauce over your favorite pasta, sprinkle with parmesan and parsley.
You can add sautéed shrimp or gourmet chicken sausage to the sauce if you like.
Erin Walgamuth has been an assistant Food Stylist for television and print for the past 26 years and writes this column using her own recipes. Check out her other creations in our Hometown Recipe section.
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