The tomatoes are growing bigger in the garden and some are ripening and I look forward to the bounty of summer for making tomato sauce for pasta, lasagna, pizza and parmigiana dishes.
The tomatoes in this sauce are oven roasted so their flavour will be enhanced. Once prepared and in the oven you will find that this is a really easy way to make tomato sauce. Properly done, the tomatoes will not stick to pan and the sauce can be frozen for use over an extended period.
Roma tomatoes are the best to use because of their flavour and their fleshiness. Any tomatoes can be used, however, but
some contain more moisture and will take longer to cook. I have successfully made this sauce using halved cherry and grape tomatoes.
Give it a try and I will wager that you will never make tomato sauce on the stove top again!
Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
- 1.6 kilos) fresh, organic tomatoes (any variety, even cherry tomatoes)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 can Mutti Tomato Polpa or other chopped tomatoes (more important when tomatoes are out of season to add some depth of flavour. If the tomatoes are of excellent quality this element may not be needed.)
- 1 small carrot, washed scrubbed used whole to counter the acidity of the tomatoes.
- 1 peeled, large organic garlic clove or to taste
- 1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- a good splash of dry red wine to over the top of the tomatoes for some cooking liquid. (about 1/2 cup) or use some water in place of the wine if you wish.
- 2 or 3 fresh basil leaves roughly torn
- 1 little sprig of rosemary chopped finely (1 inch worth)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 small bunch of parsley finely chopped
- 2 medium onions, chopped roughly
- 1 heaped tablespoon of chicken or vegetable stock powder
- ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees (210 C). Use a large roasting pan. (I use a big stainless steel roasting pan as it is non-reactive and transfers the heat well.)
- Wash the tomatoes. If using Roma tomatoes, cut them in half longwise and then in half longwise again and then in two to three pieces across depending on the size of the tomatoes. Don’t make the pieces too small. (Cut cherry tomatoes in half, and round ones into chunks removing the hard core from them)
- Drizzle a little of extra virgin oil in the bottom of a baking dish
- Place tomatoes into the baking dish
- Add garlic clove/s,chopped onion, and drizzle the rest of the olive oil over the tomatoes, and toss the mixture well using your hands.
- Then pour over the tomato polpa or chopped tomatoes, the wine or water, the tomato paste,stirring it in well, the basil leaf, bay leaf, chopped parsley, chopped rosemary, and chicken/vegetable stock powder
- Season well with salt and pepper.
- Combine all the ingredients well with a spoon and place the whole carrot into the mixture
- Place the baking dish in the oven uncovered and cook for about 40-60 minutes or until the tomatoes have reduced down and softened and liquid has evaporated.
- The edges of the tomatoes will start to darken so halfway during the cooking turn them under
- The moisture from the tomatoes will usually be enough to moisten the sauce but if needed add a little water and stir to prevent the sauce from catching.
- The tomatoes should be done when they have softened and the liquid is well absorbed.
- When cooked remove from the oven and set aside to cool for about 5 minutes.
- Remove the carrot, then put batches of the sauce into a pyrex measuring jug or similar jug and use a stick blender, applying short bursts to blend the tomatoes into a sauce. Remember that the sauce should have some texture so do not over-blend. Just 2-3 bursts will be enough.
- Empty the blended sauce progressively into freezer safe containers in quantities that will be suitable for your family needs.
- When cool the sauce will be ready to use. Refrigerate or freeze for further use.
You can also add chopped capsicum or chilli to this basic recipe to vary it.