Waking up before 9am on Saturday has a few perks, most of them edible. Working at the farmers market, at least my gig there, isn’t strenuous. Eager shoppers, without cash, walk up to the Manager’s Table, pass me their debit card, I swipe while asking them to sign up for our newsletter and hand them the appropriate amount of tokens.
And then I get to take home the good stuff. Well, not exactly the good stuff. Really the free, almost rotting stuff. Ten pounds of bruised and battered tomatoes. Tomatoes slit apart and oozing juice and seeds. Tomatoes on just this side of rotten.
These seconds, as they’re dubbed at the market, need to be loved and loved quickly. I had less than 24 hours to make the most of out of them.
Three-Hour Tomato Sauce
From about 5 pounds of “second” tomatoes cut out the rotten and smelly bits, roughly chop the rest. In a large pan heat diced onions and garlic in oil. Add chopped tomatoes. Any breed will do. Add red wine (I used just old red wine from a box. As my dad noted, this was an “almost bad” sauce. But I’m not sure that’s the most appealing name for something edible.) Stir. Add salt and pepper. Bring to a low boil, then lower to a slight simmer. Cover half the pot. Stir every 20-30 minutes or so. When reduced and thick, about three hours, take off the stove and immersion blend to desired smoothness. Toss with pasta. Scoop up with garlic bread.