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GardenSMART :: Tomato Gravy Is Just Right For Summer Suppers

Tomato Gravy Is Just Right For Summer Suppers

By Tommy C. Simmons, an enthusiastic cook
Photograph by Tommy C. Simmons

Tomato gravy over pasta for dinner is hard to beat. I like to make a roux-free version of the gravy, which is also known as marinara, in the summer. It’s lighter tasting and can be served at room temperature, if preferred.

After a trip, we came home to a few overripe tomatoes, but not enough to make a dinner for four so I supplemented the fresh tomatoes with a can of whole tomatoes. Since the tomatoes were past their prime, I also added a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste to heighten the tomato flavor as the gravy cooked.

This is a simple-to-prepare recipe and just right for hot weather suppers.

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Tomato gravy is even tasty served cold the next day with crackers and cheese.

Home kitchen-tested recipe

Tomato Gravy for Pasta

Serves 4. Adapted recipe is by Tommy C. Simmons.

2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup finely chopped Vidalia onion
3 sweet basil leaves, finely chopped
¼ cup olive oil, divided
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
Dash of Tabasco sauce
6 tomatoes, chopped (see testing note)
Cooked pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Mix garlic, onion, basil, 1/8 cup olive oil, salt, black pepper, Tabasco sauce and tomatoes in a glass bowl. Let marinate for an hour.
  2. Pour remaining 1/8 cup olive oil into a nonstick skillet. Heat over medium heat. When warmed, add the marinating tomato mixture to the skillet. Cook through until simmering.
  3. Remove from heat and pour over cooked pasta. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve.

Testing note: If fresh tomatoes are not available or you need to supplement the tomato harvest, you can add a can of whole tomatoes, drained, to the marinating oil and seasonings. I usually find that the canned tomatoes lack tomato flavor, and stir in 2 tablespoons of tomato paste to heighten the taste. When you add the tomato paste to the marinating tomatoes, you have to cook the mixture longer to soften the tomato paste intensity. Can also add a little chopped bell pepper and celery, if desired. Should the tomatoes be too acidic for guests, a chopped carrot cooked in the gravy will add sweetness to the gravy’s flavor. I also like tomato gravy leftover served cold with crackers and cheese.


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