Roasted Tomato Sauce

I used to make my tomato sauce like everyone else, simmering fresh tomatoes in a big pot, until I discovered not just one but two fabulous new sauce recipes. This is quick and easy with that intense tomato flavor. The other one from Joyce's blog is slow cooked for hours in your slow cooker. It has the taste of fresh from the garden tomatoes. On Friday I made a batch of each, plus my dehydrator was full of tomatoes. Talk about tomato overload! Yesterday I made another batch of Joyce's slow cooker sauce, yellow tomato preserves, and a new recipe from my friend Scotty for Yellow Tomato Soup. I'll post that recipe later. Delicious!

Guess what I'm doing tomorrow! NOT CANNING!

Makes 3 cups
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5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 pounds Roma or plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise in halves
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, cut into thin ribbons

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F. Generously brush a large baking sheet with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

Season the cut sides of the tomatoes with salt and pepper. Place, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Brush the skins with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Bake until the tomato skins are lightly browned and the tomatoes are tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool completely. Pull the skins off the tomatoes and discard.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the garlic, and red pepper in a small skillet over medium heat until browned, about 2 minutes. Puree the tomatoes and garlic oil in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Stir in the basil and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve hot. (The sauce can be prepared up to 3 days ahead cooled, covered and refrigerated, or frozen for up to 2 months.)

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