Vin de Paire or "Wine Pairing" is a blog focusing on wine and food and all the incredible things related to them. Vin de Paire is a collaboration of authors and topics to elicit thoughts, ideas and desires in an easy to understand and not too serious format. Read, learn & enjoy. Cheers! (Like to be an author? Contact us.)


Fresh Tomato Sauce

  • 12 large fresh from the garden tomatoes (don’t bother trying to make this with store-bought tomatoes as the result would be much the same as trying to teach a pig to sing; you’ll end up wasting time and frustrated with the end result and, oh yea, you’d just make the pig mad)
  • 12 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • ¼ cup of olive oil
  • ¼ cup of minced fresh basil
  • 1 cup of wine left over from that bottle the other night that you couldn’t quite finish…it was the third one after all (red or white, either is fine)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • One-cup good chicken stock (optional, I like the added depth of flavor a stock brings to sauces)
  • Large pot of boiling water to blanch the tomatoes (it should be large enough to hold all the tomatoes and about one and a half gallons of water easily)
  • Large straight-sided sauté pan big enough to hold all the tomatoes comfortably
  • Large pot of ice water to cool the tomatoes down after blanching

Core the tomatoes and mark the blossom end with a sharp knife in an X. Carefully drop the tomatoes in the boiling water for a minute more-or-less; just long enough to loosen the skins. Place the blanched tomatoes in the ice water to stop the cooking process. When cool, rough chop the tomatoes and set aside. Pour the olive oil in the sauté pan and bring to almost smoking over medium-high heat, add the sliced garlic and cook, stirring constantly so as not to burn until the garlic is softened but not browned (garlic tends to become bitter when it browns). Add the wine and chicken stock if you’re using it, and the tomatoes. Bring to a simmer, reduce the heat and cook, covered until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. If you need to extend the cooking time add water. When done, remove from hear, stir in the minced basil and adjust the salt and pepper. Use this sauce over pasta, chicken, pork. Puree some and use it for dip for shrimp with a little added lemon. Add a couple of drops of hot sauce (not Tobasco unless you like that vinegar thing) and use it as a chunky spread with cheeses and good crusty bread.

Chef’s tip: When you are going to use this sauce, just before serving, add ½ to 1 ounce of cold, sliced butter to the hot sauce and stir until it has incorporated. It will add a richness and texture to the sauce just like the big-time chefs do it. You can achieve a similar effect with olive oil if you’re one of those squeamish about butter types although nothing really tastes quite like butter. Let me know if you try it and what you think. Chuck