Farm-stand fresh: Garden overflowing with summer tomatoes? Chop them up with some eggplant and fresh rosemary and basil, toss with olive oil and pour it into a slow cooker. (Abel Uribe/Chicago Tribune)

Farm stand tomato sauce

Prep: 30 minutes
Cook: 5 to 7 hours
Makes: 9 cups

Note: From "Slow Cooker Revolution" (Boston Common Press, $26.95), by the editors at America's Test Kitchen.


2 onions, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra as needed
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon minced fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried
½ cup dry red wine
¼ cup Minute Tapioca
2 bay leaves
7 pounds tomatoes, about 14 large
1/4 cup minced fresh basil
Salt and pepper

1. Microwave onions, tomato paste, oil, garlic and oregano in a bowl, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened, about 5 minutes; transfer to a slow cooker. Stir wine, tapioca and bay leaves into slow cooker.

2. Core and peel tomatoes; transfer to slow cooker. Cover; cook until tomatoes are very soft and beginning to disintegrate, 9 to 11 hours on low or 5 to 7 hours on high.

3. Discard the bay leaves. Mash tomatoes until mostly smooth with potato masher. Transfer sauce to a Dutch oven; simmer over medium-high heat until thickened, about 20 minutes.

4. Before serving, stir in basil; season with salt, pepper and additional olive oil to taste. The finished sauce freezes well.

Nutrition information:
Per 1 cup: 149 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 3 g protein, 37 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.