When Summer Gives You Tomatoes

It's a happy daily "chore" in August to harvest the dozens of tomatoes that seem to ripen overnight on the vine.  Once you've ingratiated yourselves to the neighbors and served as many caprese salads as your family and guests can put away, there's still a big bowl waiting on the counter to be fashioned into something delicious.

Now's the time to start thinking big and cooking with pounds of tomatoes at a time.  My favorite sauce made can be made in 30 minutes and easily frozen for future enjoyment.  Here's the "recipe" but please don't take it too seriously.  It's really just a matter of cooking down the tomatoes -- seeds and all (gasp) -- with a few simple ingredients.  

30 Minute Summer Tomato Sauce

Place 2 lbs roughly chopped tomatoes (use whatever tomatoes you have on hand in any combination) in a medium saucepan over medium flame and pour 2 tablespoons olive oil over the tomatoes.  Add garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper flakes and oregano to taste and 1/4-1/2 cup of water to pan.  Once the tomatoes have begun to break down, reduce to simmer.

This sauce can be doctored up with fresh basil (in place of oregano), ground anchovies, capers, peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini or any other vegetables that strike your fancy.  And it makes a great topping for grilled pizza.  I added fresh uncooked, peeled & deveined shrimp directly to the sauce for 5 minutes before serving over strozzapreti pasta.  (No cheese on any pasta with seafood, please.)