Start with cheap tomatoes. This is usually at the end of the season but the smaller veggie markets on 4th, Broadway, or at Granville Island, all sell bags of less than perfect produce for about $1. I bought 40 BC hot house tomatoes yesterday for $5.
Yes, you could go easy – dice them up, stew them and voila. I chose the hard way. I’ve done the stewing before and ended up with weird stringy, woody bits. Maybe a food mill would solve this but I don’t have one so I took the more manual route.
Blanch tomatoes for about 60 seconds or until the skin splits (that means plunge them into a large pot of boiling water and, once they’re done, plunge again into very cold water to stop the cooking process). Peel and seed.
I took the extra step of dousing them in olive oil and a bit of salt and roasting them in the oven too.
Let them cool and chop into saucy-sized bits. I added minced garlic, diced onion, Thai basil, and mushrooms. Before adding the tomatoes, be sure to sauté the garlic and onion to a nice buttery translucent, and fry the mushrooms until browned.
Again, I basically made this up so if anyone has a good tomato sauce recipe to share, I would love to have one, tried and true.