Saturday, October 3, 2015

Roasted tomato sauce

We have a school garden right outside of the art room, and it is a cool thing as far as I am concerned.  I have been watching it this September and spied some pretty nice tomatoes out there.  When no one had picked many of them right before that first heavy frost of the season, I decided to do something about it.  We were all over that- I wish I had a pic of little Greggy picking tomatoes with us.  But I don't, so you just have to use your imagination.

The Mad-Science teacher did some research and told me about this roasted tomato sauce.  It basically involves tomatoes, a few aromatics and some herbs/salt/pepper.

The process is simple: choose the size of pan according to the amount of tomatoes you have.  I really didn't have that many, so I used a cake pan....  Some of us were able to use a turkey roasting pan because we have so many tomatoes.....  That will be me next year.  Plans are being made.  Anywho,  after you core and maybe if you are feeling ambitious, cut up the tomatoes, add in a chopped onion, a handful of partially smushed and completely peeled garlics, a pour of olive oil and a bunch of fresh basil.
Spray Pam on the pan!!  
I used a combo of full size and cherry tomatoes- these tomatoes were so sweet that the sauce is pretty sweet too!  Bake the veggies for about 3 hours at 375.  Or until the water has pretty much cooked out and reduced to a thick sauce.  
Still needs some reducing- I put salt and pepper on  it at about this point

After it has cooked down, you can remove some of the skins.  I probably took out half of them, but you really don't notice.  You can also use a food processor or immersion blender and make the sauce smooth if you want, but that isn't what I care to do.  I like it less processed.  When you stir it up the garlic and onion sort of melts.  

This is the chilled and finished sauce
As I said above, the sauce was sweet, so I put a little chopped kalamata olive in it when I reheated it, which added a salty and tangy note to it.  This would probably be less sweet with more traditional tomatoes, but I used the heritage tomatoes that were in the garden.  A super dark paste type and a few very dark (maybe Cherokee purple??) larger tomatoes and a whole bunch of yellow sungold cherry tomatoes.  Goodness!  You could throw in some fresh thyme or oregano too- and maybe a little bit of cayenne???

Pasta, the sauce with olives and some parmesan
It has been discussed that we could saute a bunch of veggies (peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli) and throw those in there as well.....  could add lots of things.  ALSO, Laurie freezes hers in bags, so they stack flat.  This was truly one of the best things I have eaten all summer.  Well, all fall too I guess.  Oh summer, come back to me....  that will be for the next post, though.

This is some serious good!  And it gave me a whole lot of joy!

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