Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Quick Roasted Tomato Sauce

When life, or your brother, hands you a bushel of tomatoes: make tomato sauce ... from scratch!

While slow-roasted is all the rage, sometimes there's no time for slow. Sometimes you need quick. I often need quick. Such was the case on Saturday night. Having returned from a long day at BlogHer, I was tired, I was hungry, and there were several, large, needing-to-be-used tomatoes on my kitchen counter - courtesy of my bro's magnificent garden.

I washed them, cored them, cut them in half, and popped them in the oven. The rest is history ... or, at least, the substance of today's post.

Quick Roasted Tomato Sauce:
  • 5 large tomatoes, washed, cored and halved
  • drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh basil, or to taste
  • 2 to 3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley, or to taste
1. Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees F.

2. Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on a large, walled baking sheet and drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Sprinkle on a bit of Kosher salt and some freshly ground pepper and roast in the middle of a pre-heated 425 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Or until softened slightly and just beginning to color. Remove from oven and allow tomatoes to cool for 10 minutes.

3. Using a food mill set over a large bowl, puree the tomatoes two halves at a time, until all tomatoes have been pureed. Discard the seeds and skin, reserve the pureed tomatoes. Add any tomato juice from roasting pan to the puree. Reserve.

4. Heat a large, heavy-bottomed, non-reactive sauce pan over medium high heat and to it add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the minced garlic, a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes, pinch of Kosher salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper. Stir and saute for one minute, do not allow the garlic to color. Add the pureed tomatoes and the tomato paste and stir well to incorporate.

5. Add the grated Parmesan cheese, the basil, and the parsley, lower the heat and allow the sauce to simmer, uncovered for 20 to 30 minutes. Sauce will thicken a bit as it simmers, stir once in a while to prevent sticking. Prior to serving, taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more of anything you like.

6. Serve over cooked pasta with a dusting of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and some additional chopped basil and parsley for garnish. Enjoy!

Notes: The tomatoes used for this sauce were "Hungarian Hearts" ... they were enormous! Even larger than those pictured above. If your tomatoes are of lesser stature, use more. Ditto for my bro's garlic: its huge. We happen enjoy a garlic-y sauce, chez Diva, but your milage may vary, of course. Use as much or as little as you like.

The tomato paste is added to give the sauce more body. Fresh tomato sauce can be on the thin side. I find a bit of paste serves to improve the texture. The longer you cook the sauce, the thicker it will be - use your judgement. Its not rocket science.

Lastly, the more flavorful your tomatoes, the more flavorful your sauce will be. We loved the Hungarian Hearts, but if you can't find those, choose your favorite variety. Use the freshest and most delicious tomatoes you can find, their essential tomatoey-ness will only improve with time spent in a hot oven.

Bon appetite!


Mo Diva said...

all blogHer'ed out? Me too! although I think i will do one more post... someone asked to see my swag... oy vey!
i love this! i have a recipe for scratch sauce but its an all day thing.. and who has time for that when there are posts to write, tweets to retweet, statuses to update and swag to sort!
You rock. you know i adore you. The sause looks amazing

Anonymous said...

A terrific tomato sauce! A great recipe to have right now when we all have so many tomatoes to use up!

pixelgal said...

You read my mind, Diva dear. It's what's for dinner tonight only I don't think I'll roast them since I already cut them up yesterday. I'll let you know how they come out in just the pan.

pixelgal said...

The sauce was delicious! I just added your ingredients and instead of roasting I had cut up the tomatoes in chunks and drained them in the fridge--reduced them with all the good stuff and it was very tasty. Next time I'll add just a pinch of sugar.

Mary said...

What gorgeous color. Your recipe is really great and perfect for when the tomatoes start to come in. Our season is very late this year due to a long cold spring. I hope you are having a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

Katherine Aucoin said...

On my way with a few tomatoes, crank up the pots and pans!

Megan said...

This sounds so good. I tried making tomato sauce with fresh tomatoes recently, but I just processed them and then heated them... I think I was missing the depth of flavor that comes from roasting.

Wilma said...

Hi Auntie,
Mom made this sauce, and her and Dad were raving about it. They roasted the tomatoes on the grill and added onion to the garlic. They used the Hungarian hearts plus opalka paste tomatoes They also put it in the fridge over night and had it with ravioli tonight. It smelled heavenly!
Tomatoes are coming in like mad now.

Tangled Noodle said...

In continuation of my resolve to wean myself from canned and bottled convenience, I look forward to making this delicious sauce. Bring on the tomatoes! 8-)

Charmian @Christie's Corner said...

Roasted tomatoes make the best sauce. You can also freeze roasted tomatoes just to mix things up a bit.

Nice of your brother to share his bounty.

The Diva on a Diet said...

Mo Diva - can you even fit all that swag into one post?! LOL and j/k! You know I love you back! :)

5 Star - yes, 'tis the season and this is but one lovely way to honor the bounty!

pixelgal - you made sauce too? Nice! Good to know it worked out without the roasting. How was the texture?

Mary - I find myself envying your long, cool spring. We've had nothing but summer for what seems like forever now. But the tomatoes are wonderful this year, so that's the pay-off, I suppose! :)

Katherine - wouldn't that be fun?! I wish! :)

Megan - I do think it works either way, but I find the roasting method even easier when it comes to having to puree. They so soft, they whip up in no time.

Wilma - I guess the whole family made sauce this week. How cool is that?! Glad you enjoyed it too! Thanks! Will have to score some of the paste tomatoes next time too, I know they'd be great in this.

Tangled Noodle - how ambitious, and wonderful, to wean from the processed foods! We rarely use jarred tomato sauce any more, only when I'm in a super rush - because I like homemade so much better.

Charmian - thanks for the tip on freezing the roasted tomatoes ... me thinks that will come in mighty handy for the Diva family this year. Love it!

I only wish I lived closer so I could raid the garden daily!

Pam said...

This looks delicious and perfect for so many dishes! Love the great color of it also.

Carla and Michael said...

I can't wait for my lil tomatoes to grow up! I too have made fresh tomato sauce. Only never roasted. Wow was I missing the flavor train or what?

Sook said...

Ooh homemade tomato sauce! Looks so good! I can't wait to try it.

Wilma said...

Hi Auntie,
I left you an award on my blog. Now at least it's a rainy Monday with an award in it. Hope that helps.
Love you,

pixelgal said...

I added tomato paste too per your instructions but it was a bit loose. Next time I'll add sugar and today I'll try it your way since the tomatoes are multiplying (like the poblanos) at an alarming but delicious rate. I'm also going to try tomato soup.