Italian Roasted Tomato for the Best Sauces
I know I must have seen something like what I make somewhere, for the life of me, I cannot remember. But I know I love roasted vegetables, there is something magic when you slow cook a vegetable in olive oil, herbs and spices.
It takes a lot of tomatoes to make a good sauce, and because I always need larger quantities, I use the roasted tomatoes to add flavor to a tomato sauce base I perfected. (Link to recipe below) I want to say the quantities are set, but they really are not. Sometimes I feel I should leave my phone number so people could call me for a quick question.
This sauce I often use over meat ravioli, in a meatless lasagna and over pasta, it also is perfect for a vodka sauce, or adapted rosé sauce. I have also served it as a tomato soup, so yummy!
I use Italian tomatoes to do this, they contain less water and the flavours concentrate beautifully. I will also break out a whole garlic and let it roast with the tomatoes, if I have red, yellow or orange peppers, I will also roast those…its all up to you.
So here goes. Do have fun doing this.
Set the oven to 375°F
4-5 lbs Italian tomatoes (Or tomatoes of your choice)
¼ c. dried oregano or 5 branches fresh oregano
¾ c olive oil (use cooking olive oil, not specialty olive oil)
2 tbsp. coarse sea salt
2 tsp. ground pepper
1 whole garlic bulb (slice the top off and pour oil into it)
Red, yellow or orange peppers, whatever you have
Fresh thyme branches
Fresh sage branches
Slice the tomatoes in half and place in a baking sheet cut side open, place the fresh herbs alongside, or sprinkle with the dried herbs, then the salt, pepper. If using garlic, nestle it among the tomatoes. Add the peppers if using them, they are optional. Pour the olive oil evenly over the tomatoes, make sure there is plenty, use more if needed. Use a spatula or your hands (they are your best tool) to mix it all in.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and cook for 1 hour to start, check for lovely char marks, or slight browning at the edges of the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, remove the fresh branches of herbs if using.
Remove the garlic bulb and press the garlic cloves out of the bulb into a food processor or blender. Add everything else from the baking sheet except fresh herbs branches, you might have to do 2 batches not to over fill the blender or food processor, please be careful.
Pulse to a smooth puree and pour into a saucepan. Check your seasonings, (salt and pepper) and add if needed, smoked paprika is also a good addition, simmer 20 minutes.
Tip: Use this on its own for pasta, or add it to my simple, tried and true bone marrow tomato sauce to add another layer of flavor.
If you have questions, please ask away! Make it and love it!