CSA Week 16 Plus What Turns Tomato Sauce Orange

This week’s CSA from Strites’ included honeycrisp apples, peaches, tomatoes, onions, corn, and a cantaloupe.  I have ideas for the peaches and cantaloupe, but I gave the corn and most of the apples to my co-worker.  The tomatoes and onions inspired me to make marinara sauce.csa16

Marinara sauce is a classic red sauce that is not complicated to make with fresh ingredients.  I have dreams of dipping fresh from the oven garlic knots in homemade marinara sauce.  For now, it is too hot to bake the garlic knots, but since I received the tomatoes in the CSA and they are still fresh, I decided I would make the sauce and freeze it and save it for when it’s cooler.  I found a recipe that was simple and easy to follow.  First, I sautéed garlic and an onion in olive oil.  I then added the tomatoes, basil, and other spices.  Then, I simmered it for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.simmering

The sauce was too chunky for my liking so I put it in my blender and pureed it.  Imagine my surprise when my marinara sauce went from red to orange!  The sauce did become a bit more red after sitting for a bit, but it still wasn’t a deep red like a classic marinara sauce.  orange-sauce

Here are a few reasons why tomato sauce turns orange:

  • Using a blender-blending causes the sauce to oxidize, thus changing its color from red to orange
  • The tomatoes weren’t fully mature-while they may appear red on the outside, once the tomatoes start cooking, the pigment changes
  • Not blanching the tomatoes and removing the seeds-removing the skin and seeds can help the sauce maintain its red color
  • Other ingredients-the onions, garlic, and basil affect the color of the sauce
  • Cooking time-cooking too long or too little can affect the color of the sauce
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