Friday, January 31, 2014

Roasted Tomato Sauce


 These cold winter months are making me dearly miss spring and summer.  I am a HUGE summer fan; I love spring just because it leads to summer.  I dislike fall because it leads to winter (I won’t use hate because there are too many other good things about fall that I love that overrides the weather).  So I have spent today, which has been a cold and very windy day dreaming about my favorite seasons.  Lounging around planning our vegetable and herb gardens in my head and ways to improve some of last year’s first round attempts. 


Which got me thinking about the fact that we crazily thought we could plant 21 tomato plants in our part-sun backyard.  Again, first time gardeners here, and tomatoes weren’t the only thing we went over the top with, I’m not even going to mention the peppers.  I don’t think I have to say more, we were overambitious.  Anyway, though we sadly didn’t have a lot of luck with this we did still get a decent amount of our Roma tomatoes to grow (the peppers did pretty well also).  The whole idea behind the garden and overabundant amount of tomatoes and peppers was so we could make our own tomato sauces and salsas to freeze and/or can. 


So with the little amount of tomatoes we did get I was determined to make the tomato sauce at least once.  I think there is something so wrong about the fact that all growing up I thought that tomato sauce was supposed to be red, I mean tomatoes are red who was I to question this.  But then I made this; slow roasted tomatoes with onions and garlic, flavored with thyme and oregano.  And well what do you know, it’s orange.  Not your bright crazy orange by any means but that beautiful tomatoe-y orange I’ve come to recognize, know and love about tomato sauce. 

This is one of those recipes that will always be in the works until I think I have perfected it. Then of course I’ll start tweaking it again trying to make sure it’s just right.  So, this is where I am at with the recipe currently, which I still love.  I served this with homemade pasta tossed in parmesan and chopped parsley to garnish.  Now all we need is some garlicky bread goodness to go along with this and a glass of our favorite wine and we’re good.  J Enjoy

Roasted Tomato Sauce
Makes 4 cups

20 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded (you can use other tomatoes if need be)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 large onion, cut into wedges
6-8 whole garlic cloves
1 bunch thyme, leaves removed
1 bunch oregano, leaves removed

1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
2.  In pan place tomato halves cut side up.  Sprinkle generously with olive oil, salt and black pepper.  Top with onion wedges, garlic cloves and herbs.  Bake tomatoes for 2 hours.  Check to make sure your onions and garlic aren't cooking too quickly after about an hour.
3.  After the 2 hour mark, bump your oven up to 400 degrees F and cook for an additional 20 to 30 minutes.
4.  After that remove from the oven.  Using a food processor, add all of your roasted ingredients and blend until smooth.