Homemade Tomato Sauce
Preserved homemade tomato sauce of incomparable, exotic and characteristic flavor, able to satisfy the most demanding palates.
This extraordinary 100% natural preserve is produced in summer, just after harvesting the ingredients that make it up, thus to elaborate the sauce with fresh products, following an ancient, traditional and handmade recipe from a family company called Baigorri, located in Lodosa, in the Foral Community of Navarre, in the north of Spain, on the fertile lands that constitute La Ribera del Ebro, known as the north´s natural pantry, for its abundant vegetable gardens.
With a mild Mediterranean climate and a landscape gently dotted with hills and small mountain ranges, Baigorri has produced this delicacy over three generations of history, following a very traditional style and applying high quality standards, acquiring fame and prestige as an outstanding example of perseverance and commitment in their work, for their lands, culture and clients. The experience accumulated over the years adds to the latest technological innovations, that look towards a promising future and contribute to their products have a unique value.
This sauce is considered by the lovers of haute cuisine a jewel of the Spanish land. It´s a reference for gourmets and a natural product suitable for vegetarians, which contains no gluten, preservatives or colorings. It´s made from a stir-fry of garlic and onion, in olive oil over low heat, on which then tomatoes are added, and a pinch of salt and another of sugar, to balance its unmistakable flavor.
The tomato used to make this delicious sauce is grown from tomato plants of selected non-transgenic seeds grown in the southern half of Navarra, in family orchards of controlled cultivation. It is an annual creeping grass, with small yellow flowers, whose fruit is the tomato.
The tomato is a fruit/berry, of juicy flesh, which contains numerous yellow discoid seeds inside. It is born green and ends up maturing in the bush with a bright red color (because of their natural content in lycopene, which is a carotene with anti-cancer anti-oxidant action) Their skin is firm and fine and, depending on the variety, they can be round tomatoes with smooth skin (beautiful tomatoes) or wrinkled tomatoes and sometimes a little deformed (ugly tomatoes) Both are delicious and very tasty to cook sauces. And as a curiosity, in Tudela, Navarra, annual competitions of beautiful and ugly tomatoes are held.
The tomato is harvested in summer (it holds very well the high temperatures, although if they are higher than 35°C the fruit does not fructify or ripen well; and bear little losses, since temperatures below 10º-12°C slow down growth) And the demands on water during its growth are very high (water comes from naturally, controlled underground aquifers)
"Thinning" is applied as the tomatoes grow in the bushes, to leave only the fruits that will get the strength and flavor necessary to make a luscious and healthy homemade tomato. The manual harvesting of the more flavory gourmet tomatoes begin 70 or 90 days after planting. They are collected one by one at the right time of maturation. The leaves and stems of the tomato and mature fruits are widely used in folk medicine in Navarra.
In the preparation of this exclusive tomato sauce the onions used are small, white and spicy, grown in Navarra. The plant comes from the family of Liliaceas (lilies) It´s a biannual plant, to get seeds, but it is grown in deep soils of light consistency as an annual plant, to produce bulbs (what we know as onions)
Three cycles of onion cultivation are distinguished, and those chosen for this sauce are those of early cultivation: planted in September, transplanted in December and harvested in May-June.
The harvesting is done by hand, in small extensions, when the bulb is fully formed, and the two or three outer leaves are dry. And the just collected onions are usually left several days on the ground to dry well.
Many medical properties are attributed to onions. They are low-calorie, because their water content is around 90%. They contain significant amounts of fiber, minerals, vitamins of group B, C and E, magnesium, calcium, potassium, iron and phosphorus, which make them an excellent regulatory food of the organism. However, the onions´ healthful properties are due, more than to their nutritional composition, to their abundance of antioxidants, including flavonoids and sulfur compounds. The latter are the precursors of volatile compounds that give the onion that characteristic smell and flavor. They are also rich in sulfur compounds, responsible for their unique spicy flavor.
The garlics used in this artisanal recipe of tomato sauce are purple garlic from Navarra: bulbs with a small spherical head, composed of 8-9 teeth (segments) with outside covering skin in white and inner teeth flesh in violet color, of intense flavor, quite spicy, which provide an unparalleled aroma and flavor. The plant comes from the Liliaceas family (lilies) Originally from Asia, it has been planted in Mediterranean areas for more than 7,000 years, being introduced in Navarre in the 17th century. The garlics are planted in December/January, because they need temperatures below 17°C. The plantation is in good drainage soils, francs or clayish, rich in organic matter and moisture, permanently irrigated until the period before harvest. It´s a perennial plant with flat and thin leaves, up to 30cm high, and the roots can reach depths of 50cm. The bulbs are collected manually in mid-July.
This is the garlic variety that contains the most allicin, an organosulfur substance that is released when the tooth is broken and is responsible for the hot, the aroma´s intensity, and the characteristic strong and stimulating flavor of garlic, not forgetting its incredible contribution to its therapeutic effects.
During the elaboration process, the best raw material has been used, all of Navarre origin, and for this reason it´s considered a delicious and at the same time healthy gourmet product.
It´s recommended to keep it in a cool and dry place, protected from light. Once opened, store in the refrigerator and consume within 5 days.