Roasted Tomato Sauce
I have never been much of a preserver. Never took the time to stock my pantry with homemade canning jars reflecting the season's bounty. I prefer to make a fresh refrigerator jam, pickles or sauce. But I am the wife of a farmer now, and we have a plentiful amount of seasonal goodness. So, this shit has got to change soon.
As most of you know, this was our first year of garden harvest over here at Noci. The majority of those seasonal crops, however, came in fast, furious and ripened all at the same time.
When this outpouring explosion happened - I didn’t have the extra time or help or room in my kitchen to preserve the season at its height as I would have liked to do. I abandoned ship and decided to freeze the ripe, large, heirloom beauties whole, and I would make sauce and jam and soup and what ever else inspires later.
I did enjoy them in their natural state of course. Popping as many sweet sun gold cherry tomatoes and my newly discovered heirloom favorite, Be My Baby Gene Pool, into my mouth. Yes, that is their real name. I mean come on!
But I'm not here to talk about my frozen tomato experiment. I am here to talk to you about a new recipe I created out of sheer luck, laziness and abundance.
This recipe is ridiculously simple and has now become one of the most fabulous sauces I have ever made. But the best part about this recipe is that there is no chopping, no stirring and no tending to at all. You literally can leave the kitchen and take a shower while your tomatoes are simmering in your oven.
Now, there is no measuring to be had here people so hold your panties. Those of you that need to stick to a written recipe, this is a perfect opportunity to get over yourself and loosen up.
You with me, here we go.
Turn your oven on to 375. Wash and stem your tomatoes. You are gonna wanna use about 6 or more baskets of cherry tomatoes. I have had equal success with San Marzano or Roma tomatoes too. If you use those, you're gonna need at least 5 pounds.
Dump them into a deep roasting pan, drizzle a few generous glugs of olive oil, sprinkle with some coarse sea salt, toss in a head of separated (yes leave the skin on!) garlic cloves, add a nice TB of raw sugar, a handful of fresh basil leaves if you have them, and a dash or two of red chili flakes or dried hot pepper if you desire. Mix all around and throw it in your preheated 375-degree oven, uncovered, for about an hour or until tomatoes are bubbling and broken down. Turn the oven off, but let those tomatoes rest inside the warmth. You could leave them in there for a few hours if you need. They get better as they sit. Sauce done.
So boil up your favorite pasta and when your roasted tomatoes are ready, toss some with your pasta, add freshly grated pecorino cheese, a few chopped up basil leaves, a drizzle more of olive oil, a sprinkling of sea salt a few turns of freshly milled black pepper - heck I even added some sautéed frozen organic peas I found in my freezer on top for color cause that's the only other veg I could find! Boom. Dinner. You’re welcome.