You know what time it is? It's the height of tomato season. Or, for some, it's approaching the height of tomato season -- depending on your area and climate. Anyway, with that we'd like to share with you a perfect sauce to use for this glorious time of year, local chef Joanne Weir's aptly-titled Peak Season Tomato Sauce. It's very simply and delicious, period; and doesn't involve superfluous paste, bay leaves, carrots, celery or other filler. It's all tomato taste. Also, while it calls for you to use (preferably organic) tomatoes at their peak, good canned tomatoes (like San Marzano, but be wary, or Bella Terra) will do in a pinch.
Peak Season Tomato Sauce
Serve this sauce with creamy polenta and grilled sausages or your favorite pasta.
4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cored and halved
1 small red onion
6 garlic cloves, halved
3 sprigs fresh basil
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
Place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, basil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally , until the tomatoes collapse, about 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the sauce is thick, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.