I really missed my Crock Pot while I was in Japan. You can definitely buy a reasonably-priced slow cooker (surô kukkâ, スロークッカー) online or large homegoods stores. A rice-cooker can double as a slow cooker for many recipes, but since the purpose of the rice cooker is to get the moisture out, it may not work well for sauces.
I got a lot of heirloom tomatoes on sale at the farmers’ market, so I decided to try to make my own tomato sauce.
Because I used a mix of red plum tomatoes and big green-and-red tomatoes (possibly Brown Derby), the sauce was greenish-orange rather than red. Perhaps this recipe doesn’t look like what we tend to think of as normal tomato sauce, but it’s delicious on spaghetti. (And you could, of course, use redder tomatoes.)
Heirloom Tomato Sauce
Based on My Whole Food Life‘s “Easy Crock Pot Tomato Sauce” and The Zen of Slow Cooking‘s “Slow Cooker Tomato Sauce.”
Can be vegan if your wine is vegan.
Enjoy some fresh, then freeze the rest in 1-2-cup servings.
Time: Prep: 20-30 minutes, depending on how long it takes you to deseed tomatoes
Cooking: cook on low for six hours or high for three.
Yield: ~6 cups
~4 pounds (1.8 kg) variety heirloom tomatoes (tomato,トマト)
1 TBSP olive oil (orîbu oiru, オリーブオイル)
1 onion, chopped (tamanegi, 玉ねぎ)
1 TBSP fresh rosemary, chopped (rôzumarî, ローズマリー)
1 TBSP fresh oregano, chopped (oregano, オレガノ)
15 basil leaves, plus more for garnish (bajiru, バジル)
1 bay leaf (rôrie, ローリエ)
¼ tsp black pepper (koshô, 胡椒)
½ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (or more to taste) (aka tôgarashi no furêku, 赤唐辛子のフレーク– or chop up a dried pepper –aka tôgarashi, 赤唐辛子)
½~1 tsp salt shio, 塩)
¼ cup (60 mL) red wine – I used pinot noir (aka wain, 赤ワイン; pino nowâru, ピノ・ノワール)
4 cloves garlic, crushed (ninniku, ニンニク)
Slow cooker (surô kukkâ, スロークッカー)
Blender or food processor (mikisâ, ミキサー or fûdo purosessâ, フードプロセッサー)
1. Deseed the tomatoes. Leave the skins on.
2. Setting aside the basil for garnish, add all the ingredients to the slow cooker. Stir to distribute the herbs evenly.
3. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3 hours. (If you are doing this overnight or during work, it’s fine to have it on low for ~8 hours as it’s very juicy.)
4. When finished, remove lid, remove bay leaf, and let cool. Blend to desired texture. Add additional seasonings as necessary.
5. Serve on pasta or pizza with additional basil, Parmesan cheese, etc.
6. Freeze leftover sauce in 1~2-cup servings (or whatever is appropriate for you or your household.)
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