RECIPE: If you have time and tomatoes, try this summer sauce

When time is short or your day is long, store-bought pasta sauce gets a meal on the table in a few precious minutes. But there is nothing as simple, and simply delicious, as sauce made from fresh tomatoes at the peak of their season. If baskets of sun-kissed summer tomatoes have you contemplating a from-scratch sauce, here’s your recipe.

ExploreTomatoes are in season — who wants pie? Make it three ways with these recipes

This arrabbiata is light and bright, with just enough spicy kick to make it interesting. Which variety of tomatoes should you use? I recommend Roma (plum) tomatoes, because they have denser flesh and fewer seeds. But tomatoes made for slicing, like beefsteak tomatoes, can work if you allow a little extra simmering time to reach your preferred thickness. For the deepest tomato-y flavor, choose ripe tomatoes with firm, heavy flesh that yields when gently pressed.

To keep my kitchen cool, I use my outdoor grill, not indoor oven, to soften the tomatoes. We’ll enhance the char-grill flavor with a shake of smoked paprika after the simmer. Some recipes suggest removing the skin and seeds before simmering, which you certainly can do if you are opposed to either or both. But I find it’s quicker, easier and more nutritious to leave them in.

This sauce freezes beautifully, so if you have a generous amount of tomatoes, consider making multiple batches. Then when the hazy days of August are a distant memory, you can bring sunny summer flavors to your table as easily as you can pop open a jar.

ExploreHealthy Cooking recipes

Credit: Kellie Hynes

Credit: Kellie Hynes