How to Make Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes
The best thing to do with a surplus tomato crop! This recipe for Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes is perfect for canning and makes weekday meals come together in a snap. Loaded with fresh garlic, basil, oregano and ripe tomatoes, it’s an amazing side dish for meaty main courses, too!
I always wanted a vegetable garden. I DREAMED, most of my life, of having a yard large enough to have a beautiful vegetable garden and even attempted several times to create container gardens on the various decks that were attached to the many apartments/condos/townhouses I lived in over the years. So, when we finally moved to a house with a yard….a flat, perfect yard for a vegetable garden I began badgering my husband to let me put one SOMEWHERE behind the house. Reluctantly, this year he finally agreed and I had a small plot dug up behind my kitchen. I planted tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, kale, green beans, peppers of every variety, carrots, cantaloupe, broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce. The lettuce…..it was perfection. Seriously, if you grow nothing else in your lifetime, grow some lettuce and you’ll never want to buy it again. Everything else….well, let’s just say, the garden is in a less than ideal location. Not as much light as we expected so most things didn’t do as well as they should. Except….the tomatoes. I have plenty. In fact, I have more than plenty. So much, in fact, that I will be bombarding you with tomato recipes over the course of the next few weeks. Sorry…not sorry.
To start, I made you these Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes. Italian Style because I always found stewed tomatoes too bland or too acidic. Too tomatoey for my liking. My husband loves them and he puts them on everything including my favorite Mac and cheese…which makes me cringe when he mixes it together because…it’s Mac and cheese. It’s doesn’t need anything else because it’s already totally amazing all by itself! But any who…thats what he likes and so I made this recipe just for him…and you.
It you like stewed tomatoes, you’re going to LOVE these Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes. I threw in some extra things to add some flavor that ended up making them taste like a super chunky soup. But I’m not complaining at all because I went from a stewed tomato hater to a stewed tomato LOVER in a matter of an hour or so. Huge cloves of crushed garlic, leaves of fresh basil, chopped fresh oregano and freshly picked tomatoes are stewed together with sautéed onion and green pepper. Totally and utterly amazing….magical almost. You could used them as a substitute for regular canned tomatoes in so many recipes like this Skillet Chicken Cacciatore and this simple Marinara Sauce. Or just heat up a big bowl and dip in a few parmesan crisps…..call it dinner, it’s totally cool.
Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes
- 5 pounds tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- 2 tablespoons fresh chopped oregano
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Prepare an ice bath in a large bowl. Set aside.
- Add the tomatoes (a few at a time) to the boiling water and cook for 1 minutes. Immediately transfer to the ice bath. Repeat with the remaining tomatoes.
- Carefully, remove the peels from the tomatoes and cut into quarters. Set aside.
- In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium/high heat.
- Add the onion and pepper to the pot. Cook until softened, approximately 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomatoes, garlic, oregano and basil. Simmer, uncovered for 45 minutes.
- Stir in the sugar and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes or until the desired consistency is achieved.
- Season with salt and pepper, to taste, if desired.
- Place in hot sterilized mason jars, and place in hot water bath, bring water back to the boil and boil for about 20 minutes longer, remove and let cool, re-bath any jars that don't seal.
- Alternatively, you can transfer to a resealable container and store in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.
This recipe works well with a variety of tomatoes. If using tomatoes with a large core, remove the core and then cut into quarters. Discard the core.