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freeze

Slow-cook Tomato Basil Marinara Sauce

If you have tomatoes still ripening away in your garden (or magical access to a bucket full of fresh ones nearby) you should make this. Make THIS. MAKE THIS.

I can’t reiterate it enough, but truly, when winter comes around, you won’t be sorry you took away one summer Sunday afternoon of your life to cook sauce. If you’re into the whole canning process—which sadly, even after writing about it in last year’s marinara post, I have yet to learn—now’s the time to put those wonderful skills to use. Otherwise, make some room in the freezer. Which is what I did, after cutting up a solar system full of tomatoes and doubling my original recipe.

I froze sauce last year, and every time I pulled a batch out, my life became instantly and magically brighter. Even in the darkness of early winter evenings. Seriously. Warm summer sauce on a fork full of linguine when there’s snow outside your window—well, I’ll let you describe that experience for yourself once you pop your own taste of September out of the freezer…in January.

Below, you’ll find the same recipe I posted last summer. However, I doubles the amounts simply to make it more convenient for those with the intentions of freezing/canning. If you’re interested in just making a dinner portion for six, refer to my original post.

Click here for recipe…

Vegan Pesto to Freeze

Ah, all too soon the first signs of fall are emerging.  That bitter frost is starting to make its move on the garden and assassinate many of the helpless plants.  For the summer produce, this means time is beginning to dwindle, particularly for the dainty leaves left shivering on the basil.

While I’m not yet ready to embrace the cold days that lay ahead, I’ll open up my kitchen to fall and winter squashes with welcoming arms.  But before I say my farewells to the summer garden, I’m taking as much of it as I can with me to the freezer.

Every year, as the first frost sets in, I harvest all the remaining green-outfitted basil in my garden and get my food processor going.  It’s a tradition my mom always carried out since before I can remember, continually gracing our plate with a taste of summer even in the coldest of winter days.  For me, after the first few snows, the only way to get through the rest of winter is to remember summer’s on its way.  A little summer heaven in the kitchen always helps to feed this fire.

While I love all of the nuances and variety that each east coast season brings, I’m a warm weathered girl at heart.  Which is why I’m not wasting one bit of these last few days of short-sleeved temps.  And I’m not wasting my precious basil either.  Besides, the more filled the freezer is, the less your fridge has to work to keep items cold.  Just another reason to freeze up some pesto.

Fresh pesto can be an all-year around treat if you just do a little planning ahead.  If you make enough, it will last you well into the late winter months without going bad.  Use tape on the containers to mark the date it was made if you plan on making several batches before summer’s end.

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