Friday, October 19, 2012

Tempting Tomato Sauce

The tomatoes are here! The tomatoes are here! Well...were here.  During that long break I took I was blessed with several pounds...POUNDS...of tomatoes from our CSA farm.   In the end I believe I handled nearly one hundred pounds of the bright red fruit.  Sixty pounds of romas were crushed, canned and put up for the winter.  Several beefsteaks and heirlooms were sliced up and enjoyed with just a drizzle of oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper.  A creamy tomato bisque graced our dinner table another evening.  But still the tomatoes kept coming. 

My fall back became to roast them with garlic, peppers and onions and blend the mixture into an wonderfully rich sauce.   I got into the habit of slicing up as many tomatoes I had to fill up two baking dishes.   Whatever vegetables I deemed worthy would join the  mix...usually onions, peppers, once or twice a carrot.  The occasional small eggplant. Maybe some zucchini.  Herbs I played fast and loose with too.  And the wine?  Usually a dry white, but a red occasionally made a nice change of pace.  And in the end I stopped bothering with that whole seeding and skinning business.  The immersion blender blade did a fair job of getting the skins stuck up in it, so I never bothered trying to strain out the few that didn't managed to get jammed.  And the seeds?  Well, I'm lazy and the texture and flavor they added didn't bother me in the slightest.  The only thing I made certain to do was salt it well.  I had a tendency to go a little to easy on the salt early on...

 I believe I needn't worry about open a store bought jar of sauce for many, many more months...

adapted from Alton Brown

yields about 4-5 cups

The Ingredients:
15-20 fresh tomatoes.  Romas work best
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/4 cup olive oil
several sprigs of thyme
several fresh basil leaves
salt and pepper
1 cup dry white wine

The Process:
Preheat the oven to 350.  Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise and cram into two 9x13 inch pans.  Divide the onions, peppers garlic and herbs evenly between the two pans.  Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with herbs, salt and pepper.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about two hours.  Increase the oven temperature to 400 and bake an additional thirty minutes. 

Scrap the roasted tomatoes and veggies into a large stock pot along with the wine.  Heat over medium-high heat, bringing to a gentle simmer.  Cook, stirring continually, for 10 minutes.  Blend to a puree using an immersion blender directly in the pot, or transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth.  Season to taste with addition salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with your favorite pasta, ladle into plastic to freeze for later, or jar and process in a pressure cooker to preserve in the pantry.

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