Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

Fall brings fresh garden tomatoes. If you’re lucky, it brings lots and lots. If you’re really lucky, you have the best Mom who shares her tomatoes! Because I hate the mess of removing tomato skins in boiling water, I decided to experiment with the much more passive roasted tomato sauce this year. It was the right decision.

Next recipe: sweet potato gnochhi to eat with your tomato sauce!

This recipe gives you one very full large cookie sheet, which yields about about 4 cups of sauce. I used about 5 cups of mixed tomatoes (Roma, beefsteak, plum), measured after I had cut and seeded them. Roma tomatoes are the best though, because I find they have fewer seeds and firm flesh for chunkier sauce. If you have tons of tomatoes, double the recipe and roast two cookie sheets at a time, but switch them half way through and maybe give them an extra 10–15 minutes.

If you don’t remove the seeds, sprinkle 1 tsp of white sugar over the tomatoes and add an extra carrot or two. The sweetness will offset the acidity of the seeds. Your sauce will be thinner because of the extra water content in the flesh around the seeds.

The recipe appears to have a lot of garlic, but because it’s roasted, the flavour really mellows out.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
4 cups fresh garden tomatoes, sliced lengthwise, cored and deseeded
4–5 whole large garlic cloves, skins removed
1-1/2 cups red, yellow or white onion, diced
3–4 medium carrots, sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
1/2 cup olive oil (I used half regular extra virgin and half Frescolio Basil-Infused Extra Virgin Olive Oil)
1/2 tsp white sugar
2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tbsp dry Italian seasoning or oregano
salt and pepper to taste (you can adjust at the end)
1/2 cup fresh basil (added at the end)
parchment paper
rimmed cookie sheet

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Slice tomatoes lengthwise, cut out the stem and white parts of the core. Remove seeds over the sink or a garbage can by pressing your thumbs into the fleshy parts. (Wear black: you will get sprayed.) Place tomatoes, onion, whole garlic, and carrots in a large bowl and season with salt.

In a small bowl, mix olive oil, sugar, thyme, Italian seasoning. Pour over tomato mixture, tossing gently with your hands to coat everything. On a rimmed cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, place tomatoes in one layer, with skin sides down. Pour the onion, carrots and garlic over the tomatoes, arranging to make a single layer if possible.

Roast for one hour, until the carrots and garlic are fork-tender. Let the mixture cool. To blend, separate out the garlic and a few tomatoes and place in blender (to make sure the garlic gets well blended). Pulse the sauce to the consistency you want. Taste and add salt, sugar, and pepper to taste. Add freshly shopped basil and serve (or freeze).

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