Both of these recipes have been posted in the past (or at least variations of them). And whether you grow them in your own garden or buy them from the market or a store, this is prime tomato season. Both recipes are simple to make a bursting with fresh flavor. 

Garden-Fresh Tomato Sauce

 Makes about 3 quarts

4 quarts fresh tomatoes

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 small onions

4 cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon sugar

2 teaspoons sea salt

1 teaspoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper

2 cups chicken broth

1 bunch fresh basil

Cut the tomatoes in half and squeeze out the seeds; discard the seeds and dice the tomatoes. Heat the oil in a heavy sauce pan; add the onions, then the garlic, then the sugar, salt, fennel, and hot pepper. Add the diced tomatoes and the chicken broth (or vegetable broth). Bring to a boil, then lower to a simmer. Cook the sauce for about 45 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened. Stir in whole basil leaves and remove from the heat. Allow it to rest for 5 minutes. Taste it for seasoning, then puree in a blender. Refrigerate until needed.

Spicy and Smoky Tomato ketchup

Makes about 2 cups

2 pounds ripe tomatoes

1 small onion, peeled and diced

1 clove garlic, peeled and minced

1/2 cup white wine vinegar

6 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon ancho chili powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Remove the cores of the tomatoes, and make a small X-shaped incision on the opposite ends. Drop the tomatoes in the water a few at a time and blanch them for only about 45 seconds, just to loosen their skins. Transfer the tomatoes to a bowl of iced water. Peel away their skins, cut them in half, squeeze out their seeds, and dice them. Transfer the tomatoes to a small pot with the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, then lower to a low simmer. Cook for about an hour, until it becomes quite thick. Transfer to a blender and process until smooth.

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