Life is busy sometimes. We recently went on vacation and spent 8 wanderlust days in the beautiful Emerald City. Coming back home was a whirlwind, I had a Food Show & Open House to finishing planning for work and then you know how it goes when you come back to work after being gone an entire week. So it has taken me a minute (read as “a few weeks”) to get my gatherings together and for that I am sorry. But you know what I have learned in these past few weeks? That life can get complicated and busy and sometimes hard but food should never be that way.
One thing other than vacations that I enjoy every summer is nature’s most delicious natural candies ever – Tomatoes. A true tomato, not one manufactured in a hot house and ripened by gas or on a store shelf, is earthy, sweet, tart and acidic. These delicious jewels make my taste buds sing. This recipe can be used with any tomato – heirlooms, romas, cherry, kumato or any mix.
If your tomatoes are looking a little sad and neglected this is the perfect recipe for them too. The sweetness that has developed in them will shine through and no one will be none the wiser how ugly they were when you started this dish.
What makes this recipe so fantastic is the versatility of this tomato sauce. Eat it as a delicious tomato soup with your favorite toppings, or use it as your tomato sauce in your favorite pasta or zoodle recipe that calls for marinara/pasta sauce. This sauce is perfect for shakshouka too – poaching your eggs in tomato sauce. You can even use this as a base for homemade pizza. The options for this sauce are endless.
I prepared this dish in my favorite dutch oven pan but use any pan or even your slow cooker to make this versatile tomato base!
Versatile Tomato Base - Paleo & Whole 30
Simple & Delicious Tomato Marinara Base
Depending on size of your tomatoes - halve or quarter removing any large stems. Peel and smash garlic, leaving whole. Slice onions and shallots. Remove any large stems from mini sweet peppers.
How to Prepare:
Heat Dutch Oven Pan over medium heat. Once pan is hot, add olive oil (reserving 1 tbsp. for later use). Oil will quickly start to glisten and shine, add onion, shallots, garlic and mini sweet peppers. Stir well and cook for about 5 minutes. Allow the onions to slightly caramelize.
Add all tomatoes to pan. Stir well and cook for 5-7 minutes allowing the tomatoes to start to break down. Once tomatoes start to soften, add salt, basil and oregano. Lower temperature to low and cover with lid. Cook for 2 hours - stirring occasionally.
After two hours, stir well and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Add remaining olive oil and stir well. If tomatoes are not cooked down, cook for additional 30-45 minutes with lid on.
Remove from heat. Using an immersion or hand blender - blend tomato base until completely blended - about 5 minutes. Once blended add fresh basil and blend again.
Tomato Base is now ready for use! Enjoy as is as a tomato soup or use in your favorite recipe!
Turn this Versatile Tomato Base into a Delightful Tomato Soup.
1. Sauté shaved Brussel sprouts and sliced onions in a pan with your fat or cooking oil of choice. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Crisp up two slices of prosciutto in a non stick pan with your cooking oil of choice.
3. Add Versatile Tomato Base to a bowl. Top with cooked shaved Brussel sprouts.
4. Slice Crispy Prosciutto into bite size pieces. Add to bowl.
5. Serve, Eat and Enjoy!