In the never ending search for the perfect tomato sauce recipe to capture the essence of summer, I have tried them all. I wanted something basic and straightforward that I could add more flavors to later, but also something that would be fresh tasting and perfect on its own. I hate blanching, peeling, and seeding pounds and pounds of tomatoes, and liked the idea of roasting the tomatoes instead of stewing them in a pot, and adding the flavor of roasted garlic as well. It's perfect for canning or freezing. Now, when you open a jar of this saucy goodness later this fall or winter, you can use it as is, or toss it in a pot and add olives, peppers, capers, and other spices for a Putanesca Sauce. Or, you can add caramelized onions, carrots and celery along with some ground beef, ground pork and cream for a delish Bolognese Sauce. Toss in some pan roasted wild mushrooms like porcini and portobella, along with some caramelized onion, pancetta and lots of Asagio cheese for a great wild mushroom sauce. You get the idea.... —Burnt Offerings
- Prep time 20 minutes
- Cook time 1 hour
- Makes about 3 quarts
5 - 6 pounds
Fresh Beefsteak or Roma tomatoes - quartered
large Vidalia or sweet yellow onion - chopped
head of garlic - unpeeled
red pepper flakes to taste
chopped fresh basil
chopped fresh oregano
chopped flat leaf parsley
- Heat your oven to 450 degrees
- Take an entire head of garlic and take off as much of the paper from the bulb without separating the cloves. Slice off the top 1/4 inch of the bulb, exposing the cloves, but leaving the cloves intact. Wrap the bulb in a piece of aluminum foil and drizzle a tablespoon of good olive oil into the foil package. Put this package in the oven when you roast the tomatoes.
- Take 5-6 pounds of tomatoes, quarter them, and toss them in a large, deep roasting pan.
- Toss in the chopped yellow onion, and then olive oil, salt, peppers, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Toss well to mix.
- Whack it in the oven for an hour and stir every 20 minutes until the tomatoes cook down and have a slight char on top.
- Remove the roasting pan and the foil packet of garlic from the oven and let cool.
- Squeeze the roasted garlic out of its paper directly into the roasted tomatoes.
- Add the chopped basil, oregano and parsley
- Here's the brilliant, easy part: Take an immersion blender to the whole thing. Right in the roasting pan. You can make this silky smooth, or just get the garlic and herbs incorporated well, and leave it a tad chunky like I did. The skins and seeds disappear right into the sauce. Adjust all seasonings before freezing or processing in jars.