Garden Fresh Marinara Sauce

Isn’t it amazing that you can plant a $4 pack of tomatoes seedlings in the spring and Vine to Spaghetti sauceget 100’s of vine fresh tomatoes a couple of months later?  Garden fresh food is hands down the most amazing thing to cook with.  You can take a stroll across your yard and pluck ripe vegetables  & herbs right off the vine.  And if you love to cook, with a small amount of patience and a little work you can turn a ripe tomato into homemade spaghetti sauce!

What you need:

  • 20-24 large Roma tomatoes
  • 4 large garlic gloves peeled and cut in ½
  • 2 tablespoons tomatoes paste
  • 3 large sprigs of fresh basil
  • EVOO
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Red pepper flakes if you like a little heat!

What you do:

  • Wash & remove the core from the tomatoes, set aside.
  • Bring large pot of water to a boil.
  • In small batches, drop the tomatoes into the water and boil until the skin starts to naturally peel.
  • Remove the tomatoes from the boiling water and drop them into an ice bath.
  • Remove the skins from the tomatoes.
  • Repeat the above 2 steps until all tomatoes are peeled.
  • Crush the tomatoes using your hands until they are in small chunks.
  • Add EVOO to a large stockpot pan and sauté garlic for 30 seconds.  Do not burn!
  • Add tomato paste and stir until combined, about 3 seconds.
  • Add tomatoes, fresh basil, pinch of sugar, red pepper flakes and season with salt & pepper to taste.  Bring to a boil.
  •  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 45-60 minutes until reduced and sauce is thickened (make sure you boil the water out otherwise it’s really runny).
  • Remove basil stems and large chunks of garlic.
  • Optional: Let the sauce cool and puree in a food processor or blender if you like your sauce smoother vs. Chunky.

Adorable tiered flower pots

What’s my inspiration?
Once again, Pinterest inspired another great weekend project.  This time, some spray painted terra-cotta pots all stacked up and filled with lovely flowers from my favorite garden center, Gertens.  I went a bit outside the box with the green and purple color scheme, but it looks quite cute with purple pansies, tiny white flowers and spiral grass (my favorite!!).

It was pretty easy to make.  I primed the pots first although I don’t think you would need to.  I then spray painted the top rim of the pot avoiding the base of the pot so I didn’t waste paint.  Using plastic garbage bags and blue painters tape, I just covered the top rim of the pots and spray painted the bottom in the contrasting color.  Lastly, I used a round sponge to put a few white polka dots around the pots for a little extra flair.  So I didn’t use so much dirt, I flipped smaller terra-cotta pots upside down inside the larger pots, rested the next pot on top and then filled with dirt.  Add the lovely flowers of your chosing and you’re done.  Quick, easy, adorable.