Most recipes featuring canned tomatoes will have you squash them with a wooden spoon against the side of your pot. It’s a simple enough motion, but depending on the curvature of your spoon and the stubbornness of your tomato, it can send the whole fruit flying up out of the sauce, which results in splashing (a thing I try to minimise with red sauce). And, if you do manage to keep it from slipping away, there is still a chance for seed squirtage.
Both of these potentially messy outcomes are mitigated by using tongs—not a spoon—to crush whole tomatoes. It’s easy—just grab the tomato with the tongs and squeeze. By exerting (controlled) pressure from both sides, you are able to squish your tomatoes more quickly, effectively, and neatly, and there is no need to hold the pot steady, as you are not using its wall as a counter force. You can also keep the tomato submerged during the squish, which means any errant seeds will remain trapped in your sauce, instead of being propelled into your face.
Using two lids to slice cherry tomatoes in half is a classic hack. The lips of the lids stabilise the tomatoes, letting you run your knife through the little guys with ease. But I’m here to tell you that you don’t need two lids. You never did. You just need a cutting board and your hand.Read more