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Brandywine Tomato Cream Sauce with Sage for Pasta

Updated on September 13, 2014
Diane Cass profile image

Diane is a lover of all things beautiful; music, art, antiques and nature. Her guides bring insight to topics she cares passionately about.

Brandywine Tomato & Cream Sauce with Sage for Pasta

Brandywine is an heirloom tomato that wins top honors for it's delicious flavor, year after year. There is simply no better tasting tomato anywhere. It is sweet, with tender flesh that lends itself to making silky sauces when cooked. It has a high degree of flesh and very few seeds. The tomatoes can be huge...up to a pound each sometimes. You might be able to find them in farmer's markets, but the best way to get them is to grow them yourself. If you have a sunny spot, either in your yard or on a patio, they can be grown in beds or in pots. Either way, you will become addicted to this luscious tomato.

This easy recipe was created by me. My husband brought in a gigantic Brandywine tomato and said, "Here, do something with this". Here is the delicious result of that challenge.

Brandywine Tomato as BIG as My Hand!

Brandywine heirloom tomatoes are our favorite. They have the biggest, rich, sweet tomato flavor that is perfect whether eaten fresh, or cooked. They are also...HUGE! Take a look at the one that topped the charts in our garden one summer. It's hard to find Brandywines in the market.They have thin skins and don't keep well, making them hard to present well in markets. They are easily grown in pots (if you don't have room for a garden) or look for them at your local farmer's market.

  • Prep time: 10 min
  • Cook time: 10 min
  • Ready in: 20 min
  • Yields: 4

Ingredients

  • 8 cups Brandywine tomatoes cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 med onion roughly chopped or sliced
  • 2 sprigs of sage (6 - 8 leaves on each branch)
  • 1 -2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 4 tbsp olive Oil
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 lb fresh pasta
  • Grated Asiago cheese
  • Large Skillet
  • Blender wand (optional)
  • Large pot with boiling water for pasta

Instructions

  1. Step 1 - Start heating the water in the pasta pot, and bring it to a boil while you are fixing the sauce.
  2. Step 2 - Heat the oil in the skillet. When hot (surface will get wavy) fry 3-4 sage leaves in the hot oil for just a minute, then remove and set aside
  3. Step 3 - Saute onion in the sage oil, on medium heat until onions are golden and caramelized
  4. Step 4 - Add garlic and saute for a minute
  5. Step 5 - Add chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper to taste, and one sprig of sage
  6. Step 6 - Increase temperature to med-high heat. Cook tomatoes until they begin to break apart and get saucy (at least 10 minutes). Taste, add seasoning, and another sprig of sage if it needs it and continue cooking the sauce down until it begins to thicken..
  7. Step 7 - Remove sage with tongs
  8. Step 8 - Insert blender wand into sauce and pulse to blend, being careful to not splash hot sauce on yourself. The sauce doesn't have to be perfectly smooth, and you can skip this step and leave it chunky if you like it that way. I like mine smoothed out a bit with the blender. This can be spooned into a stationary blender too and pureed, being careful not to put the top on, and only doing a little at a time to keep hot liquid from splashing out. Reduce heat to med-low and continue cooking while you put the pasta in to cook.
  9. Step 8 - Drop pasta and cook according to package directions.
  10. Step 9 - One minute before pasta is done, add cream and stir into sauce. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary
  11. Step 10 - When pasta is ready, drain it and add the pasta to the sauce. Toss it until all the pasta is coated with the sauce.
  12. Serve with grated Asiago cheese and crumbled, fried sage leaves.
5 stars from 1 rating of Brandywine Tomato Sauce with Sage

Photo Recipe Guide - All the steps in photos

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Carmelize the onions on medium heat until goldenFry a few sage leaves in hot oil, until crispy. Be careful not to burn them. Remove and set asaide.Carefully pour tomato chunks into the hot oil. Cook with a sprig of sage until they become soft and begin to break apart.This is how they look when they have cooked a while.Puree the tomatoes to the desired texture. I like mine very smooth.Add the cream and cook just until heated through.Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.Serve in a bowl topped with some of the crispy, fired sage leaves and some grated cheese.
Carmelize the onions on medium heat until golden
Carmelize the onions on medium heat until golden
Fry a few sage leaves in hot oil, until crispy. Be careful not to burn them. Remove and set asaide.
Fry a few sage leaves in hot oil, until crispy. Be careful not to burn them. Remove and set asaide.
Carefully pour tomato chunks into the hot oil. Cook with a sprig of sage until they become soft and begin to break apart.
Carefully pour tomato chunks into the hot oil. Cook with a sprig of sage until they become soft and begin to break apart.
This is how they look when they have cooked a while.
This is how they look when they have cooked a while.
Puree the tomatoes to the desired texture. I like mine very smooth.
Puree the tomatoes to the desired texture. I like mine very smooth.
Add the cream and cook just until heated through.
Add the cream and cook just until heated through.
Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Add the cooked pasta and toss to coat.
Serve in a bowl topped with some of the crispy, fired sage leaves and some grated cheese.
Serve in a bowl topped with some of the crispy, fired sage leaves and some grated cheese.

Why Brandywine Tomatoes?

Won't other kinds of tomatoes work?

NO! Brandywine tomatoes have unique characteristics that make it perfect for this sauce. Take a look at the photo of the different types of tomatoes.

The tomatoes on the top are Brandywine. Notice how dense the flesh is, and how relatively free of seed it is. It also has a thin skin. All of those factors, along with the sweet, intense tomatoey flavor of Brandywines make it ideal for this sauce. The flesh breaks down into a silky texture, and the seeds and skins aren't tough or bitter as in other types of tomatoes.

The tomatoes in the middle are regular salad-type tomatoes that you get in the store. As you can see, there is hardly any flesh on them. They are mostly gelatinous seeds that are bitter. The skins are also tough, as they have to withstand packing and handling. They will make a nasty-tasting, seedy sauce.

The tomatoes on the bottom are Italian-style tomatoes, like Roma. They are meatier than salad-type tomatoes, but they aren't sweet, and they have bitter seeds and tough skins. They are good for making spaghetti sauce, but not this recipe.

More Tomato Recipes

If you like my recipe but need more recipes for tomatoes, here are a few books you might find useful.

Variations of this Recipe

You can add a variety of things to customize this dish. Here are just a few ideas...

- Add sauteed mushrooms

- Add a sprig of rosemary while cooking. Remove before blending

- Use the sauce as a soup. Serve with a dollop of sour cream, diced tomato chunks and crispy sage sprinkles

- For non-vegetarians, add crumbled bacon or minced clams and clam juice.

Do You Grow Your Own Tomatoes?

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    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 2 years ago from Minnesota

      This sauce sounds a lot like my tomato cream sauce for pasta; with the exception of the sage. I can't wait to add this to my cream sauce the next time I make it. Thanks much for sharing this great pasta sauce recipe.

    • MelRootsNWrites profile image

      Melody Lassalle 3 years ago from California

      I can't believe that for so many years all we ever ate were beefsteak tomatoes or cherry tomatoes. I don't think I tried a Roma until I was an adults. That's for explaining the different uses. There are so much produce out there that we never even explore.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 3 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Thanks for explaining the difference in tomatoes. This is a recipe I could eat all by myself ...and probably in one sitting!

    • profile image

      othellos 4 years ago

      Excellent lens. I grow tomatoes in my backyard and I was very happy to catch such a valuable lens for me since tomato sauce is very important in my cooking repertoire. Thanks a lot:=)

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 5 years ago

      that is a big tomato ! your sauce looks very good.

    • profile image

      poutine 5 years ago

      I grow a few plants, just enough for the family.

    • priscillab profile image

      priscillab 6 years ago

      Wow. I am so happy to have stumbled upon this lens. I have been using plum tomatoes fresh from the farmers market for my basil and tomato sauce. Never heard of Brandywine but next season I will be growing them. Amazing how "meaty" these are. Love the recipe also. Would never thought of using sage with tomatoes. I am a basil lover. Excellent lens. tweeting and sharing this (and bookmarking)

    • chezchazz profile image

      Chazz 6 years ago from New York

      This is the first year I've grown Brandywine. Also growing a few other heirloom tomatoes. Have got to try this recipe! Thank you for posting it.

    • Nancy Hardin profile image

      Nancy Carol Brown Hardin 6 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

      Oh this recipe sounds absolutely delicious...I will have to try to find some Brandywines, because I've got to try it. Excellent recipe!

    • JackieBlock profile image

      Jackie Block 6 years ago from SE Michigan

      Your pictures are making me very hungry. I need to see if my farmers market has any brandywine tomatoes, because now I have to try this. Thank you for sharing such a yummy looking recipe.

    • Diane Cass profile image
      Author

      Diane Cass 6 years ago from New York

      @kittycooks: Oh Kitty, you MUST try Brandywine! You will wonder why you ever ate another kind of tomato.

    • profile image

      kittycooks 6 years ago

      I love the pictures for this recipe! I grow sweet 100 cherry tomatoes and Celebrity, but have never tried Brandywine. I can't wait to find some and try them out. My mouth is watering just reading your descriptions!

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I have in the past, but my yard is too shady now. We used to grow beefsteak tomatoes.

      These look wonderful. I'll look for these tomatoes at the farmer's market.