Let’s face it. I miss eating tomatoes for most of the year. I sort of refuse to buy them if it isn’t July, August, or September and even then, I’m sort of a huge snob about them. They must come from our garden (or a friend/family member’s garden), the farm stand, or at the very least, have a sign in the grocery store telling me which local farm they have been shipped from. Because really, is there nothing, nothing, worse that a gorgeously colored tomato that is mealy inside and tastes like well, nothing?
On the other hand, there is someone else who lives here and he does like tomatoes on his salads throughout the year. And while I can deal with grape or cherry tomatoes in the off-season months, I’m still not a huge fan. So, when Kyle started picking around some of the smaller yellow cherries in favor of the red ones in the container…and then never went back for the yellows and just opened up a new container (not frustrating or anything)…I decided to roast them instead of eating them fresh.
I knew when I roasted tomatoes for the first time this summer that this would be an excellent solution to “blah” winter tomatoes. And instead of using the passed-over tomatoes straight-up for something like this quinoa salad, I threw in a few extra veggies and made roasted tomato sauce. We used most of it for pizza sauce and even on just a simple pepperoni pizza, this sauce really amped up pizza night. It’s earthy and rustic and I’m positive that it will turn any bowl of plain ol’ spaghetti into a special meal in under an hour. You can now forget about waiting hours for sauce to cook on the stove and lose the jarred sauce – this is way easier and so much healthier than jarred sauce!
This recipe will yield about 1 3/4 to 2 cups of sauce and it can be easily doubled or tripled to suit your needs.
- 1 1/2 lbs grape or cherry tomatoes
- 1 small onion, halved and sliced 1/4 inch thick (do not separate the slices)
- 2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 4 x 1/2-inch long sticks
- 1 red pepper, quartered lengthwise with seeds removed
- 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 to 1 cup vegetable broth (low sodium if you can find it)
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Line two baking sheets with aluminum foil. Scatter the tomatoes, onion slices, carrots, red pepper, and garlic out over the two baking sheets. Sprinkle the thyme over the vegetables. Drizzle the olive oil over the vegetables and using your hands, mix up the vegetables to evenly coat them with the oil then spread them out in a single layer on each sheet pan. Sprinkle some salt and pepper over the vegetables.
- Roast the vegetables for 40 to 45 minutes, turning all of them with a spatula halfway through. Transfer the red peppers to a medium bowl and cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap; set aside for 10 minutes. Once the peppers have cooled enough to handle, strip off the skins with a paper towel and discard.
- Transfer all of the vegetables to the bowl of a food processor set with the metal blade. Pour in 3/4 cup vegetable broth and add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Turn the processor on and purée the ingredients until they are just about smooth, about 1 minute. If the sauce is too thick for your liking, add in up to an extra 1/4 cup vegetable broth and purée again until the liquid incorporates. Season with extra salt and pepper as needed. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks; freeze for up to 3 months.
source: adapted from Everyday Food, September 2005