Maybe I mentioned we planted tomatoes. But did I tell you we planted eight or ten plants for two people? I can’t tell how many plants are actually there, as they have grown and flourished into one jungle-like mass. As the tomatoes ripened, my countertop disappeared under a juicy red pile of produce. What to do, what to do? Canning wasn’t something I was up for, and I’d frozen as many sliced, diced, and chopped tomatoes as I could. (Yes, you can freeze them fresh!***) So I decided to try my hand at some homemade pasta sauce. I knew that freezes well, and we go through a lot of sauce in this house! And man oh man, does this sauce taste good! Guess what that means? I am going to share the “recipe”. I write “recipe” ever so loosely, as I had no recipe to begin with. So roll up your shirtsleeves, and throw out the measuring cups. When you cook with me, baby, you don’t need to measure squat.This is what I did:I skinned 88 tomatoes (yes, I counted because I’m anal that way) and in groups of about 6 – 8, I cut the core out. Then I plopped them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes until the skin started to crack, pulled them out of the water with a slotted spoon, and ran cold water over them. Peeled, squeezed to release seeds and excess juice, and the squeezed them even harder to crush them into a large stock pot. Started process over until all 88 tomatoes were nicely smashed into the pot.Then I turned on the fire, brought the tomato mash to a boil, and turned down the heat so the tomatoes simmered. I added some sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, about 1/4 – 1/2 cup olive oil, a few tablespoons dried basil, a few tablespoons dried oregano, maybe a tablespoon of dried marjoram, and almost an entire bulb of chopped crushed garlic. (Organic, because I’m anal that way.) Then I also added two large chopped onions. Yes, organic.This big pot of mess bubbled on my stove for about 5 or 6 hours, making the entire neighborhood smell like an Italian cultural festival. I stirred many, many times, as on those pasta sauce commercials of old, and tasted and adjusted the seasonings until the sauce was just right.I packed the sauce in containers and popped them into my freezer, except for a nice bowl of it for dinner that night. We took a trip to our local Italian specialty grocery store and picked up some amazing tri-color pasta, some green peppercorn pecorino cheese, a loaf of whole grain bread (very crusty!), a little rosemary ham, and of course a bottle of vino. I sauteed some sliced porteeny mushrooms (ahem – organic, anal, blah blah blah), and put them atop the sauce. Oh, my! Our tastebuds were transported to the culinary heavens. Lots of work? Yes! What’s more, this was the third batch of sauce I made in less than a week! But it’s all in the freezer (behind many bags of frozen tomatoes, salsa, etc.), and it will wait until I hit a night when I want a nice dinner without the work. All I have to do is send my husband to the Italian grocer on his way home…***Note: I did freeze them fresh, and they thaw out mush as also noted by a friend of mine. It’s fine if you are using them for cooking, but salads are a no-go for me here.