Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce

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*Many thanks to Foodie Crush Food Blog for this excellent tutorial and recipe on how to make Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce – the perfect creation to make with our Okanagan Field Tomatoes!

This recipe for Simple Roasted Tomato Sauce is the foundation for so many recipes I concoct aka pull together on a weekly basis. Of course it’s terrific in the Italian sense as a topping for pasta, but in it’s simplicity it’s so much more.

A few ways to use it:

  • I add a cup or so of milk or half and half and warm it up for a flavorful tomato soup.
  • Use it to bathe frozen meatballs on a solid sourdough bun to make a divine meatball sandwich.
  • Of course it’s the base for a zesty lasagna. Or even for a short cut lasagna soup.
  • A cup of the sauce is perfect as dipping sauce for fritti misto or fried calamari.
  • Spread it on french bread halves, top with mozzarella and any other toppings for a French Bread pizza.
  • Nestle a few chunks of chicken breast in warmed sauce and cook over medium for 25-30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through.
  • The kids go wild for stuffed pizza rolls.
  • Polenta, gnocchi and ravioli. Need I say more?

Roasting tomatoes is the secret to a sweet and fresh tasting sauce, even after it’s been jarred or frozen. And it’s beyond easy to do. Lather tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, sprinkle with fresh basil leaves and roast low and slow. In cook speak that means ignore them while they sizzle in the oven. Give them a whir in the blender, and boom. You have sauce.

I like to keep my sauce in the fridge until ready to use or I freeze them flat in freezer bags and then stack in the freezer for later use. Pour the sauce in muffin tins or ice cube trays to use in smaller portions.

To make this as a shelf-stable, jarred sauce, add two tablespoons of bottled lemon juice and one teaspoon of salt to each jar. Add a teaspoon of sugar to offset the added acidity if desired.

Ingredients
SERVES: MAKES 2 TO 2½ QUARTS OF SAUCE
Ingredients
  • 5-6 pounds medium or small tomatoes, stems removed
  • 1 medium head of garlic, peeled (you can chop the garlic if you want but can keep cloves whole if you’d like)
  • ⅓ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup fresh basil leaves
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Method
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Place the tomatoes on large baking sheet with a raised 1-inch lip. Add the garlic cloves and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Use your fingers to mix well to coat. Top with torn basil leaves and season with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  3. Bake for 4 hours or until tomatoes are soft and bursting.
  4. Allow to cool then pour into a blender in batches. Pulse 2-3 times then blend for 1 minute or until desired chunkiness. Pour into quart jars or pour into freezer bags to freeze flat.
  5. Will keep in the refrigerator for 1 week or 4 months in the freezer.