Three and a half pounds of my Italian San Marzano tomatoes, nurtured all Summer, simmered for most of Sunday...and reduced down to this:
Yes. Three squatty pint jars of ambrosia. A rich, intense red paste with a hearty flavor--manly if you will, voice deep and robust. It won't take much, added to any kind of Italian sauce, to have an undeniably strong and savory dish.
Course, I made the biggest mess ever in the kitchen, with tomato bits splashed on counters, cabinets, my favorite tee shirt and the floor. The transfer between the dutch oven to the food processor and back again--twice--over the eight hours of cooking yesterday, was a spectacular display of what not to do, and it took most of the night to clean the kitchen. This afternoon I did the canning portion of the adventure and hey, only burned myself once with the scalding water!
While cleaning, scrubbing and washing the floor, I tried not to think about how easy it is to just go to the store and buy a very decent tomato paste, direct from Italy even. I will continue to think it was worth the effort to grow the tomatoes for months, cook them for hours, to ultimately have these three jars.
Because I didn't just end up with three jars. I ended up with three pint-sized treasures of Italian gold...