This summer I developed a bit of a tomato problem. The organic tomatoes at the farmer’s market were so irresistible, I was buying pounds each week and eating them every day. Which would have been fine if I didn’t also buy a 25 pound box of tomatoes being sold for an amazing price…and then another…and then a couple more…I lost count, but I think I must have bought about 150 pounds of tomatoes in boxes over the course of the summer, in addition to the ones I was buying just for snacks and meals! I will tell you, that is a lot of tomatoes to process, but my extra freezer stocked with everything from tomato soup to sauce to puree is awesome. Well, awesome if you’re crazy like me. Otherwise, maybe just crazy…
In any case, that many tomatoes to process before they went bad was quite a project, and so I became creative and varied in my approach. But one of the easiest and most satisfying methods I discovered is to just roast them in chunks to make sauce. Roasting the tomatoes dehydrates them just enough to make the sauce perfectly thick, and the carmelization of the tomatoes, onions, and garlic bring out the sweetness of the sauce and give it great depth. With virtually no work. I highly recommend giving this a try next time you find yourself with a few pounds of tomatoes, whether they be from the farmer’s market, your garden, or the grocery store!
Roasted Tomato Sauce
adapted from First Bites
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
5 pounds (approximately) any kind of tomatoes (can be a mixture, too)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon dried basil (or a few leaves of fresh)
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375.
Cut the onion into chunks and add to a large baking sheet along garlic cloves. Core and roughly chop the tomatoes, adding to pan until it is full but everything fits in one layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle on dried basil, salt, and pepper (if using fresh basil, hold off at this point and add in at end just before pureeing). Toss with your hands to coat evenly, and roast for approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour until edges of tomatoes and onions are starting to blacken.
Transfer everything on the pan (including any juices!) to a bowl if you plan to use an immersion blender (my preferred method), or to a blender or food processor. Puree until smooth.
Makes approximately 4 cups sauce.