It’s tomato season and nothing is more satisfying than fresh, local ones. Tomatoes have varied uses; one of the most popular is tomato sauce. My version of marinara sauce uses fresh tomatoes that are roasted in the oven first and then puréed. A rustic method with little effort but the flavour profile is downright scrumptious! Roasted tomato sauce can be made ahead and frozen. Roasting brings out the sugars naturally present in tomatoes. Keep in mind, though, when you purée the tomatoes, the colour changes from red to a lovely orange. This happens naturally when you whip air into tomato sauce, the colour will almost inevitably lighten to an orangey shade. I am not bothered by this as it does not alter the flavour. This recipe makes about a cup and a half of sauce. Use this as a guideline. If you have more tomatoes, adjust accordingly. It is rustic for a reason. 🙂
you will need
3 to 4 whole tomatoes, cut into quarters
2 or more cloves of garlic (skins on)
fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 350f (180c). Grab a baking sheet and line it with parchment paper. Arrange tomato quarters so that they do not touch each other. If tomatoes are large, cut those quarters in half. Place garlic cloves on the baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes and garlic with olive oil. Season with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Lightly sprinkle dried oregano over tomatoes. Place in oven and roast for 30 minutes. When the time is up, turn off the oven and keep the tomatoes in the oven for another 40 minutes (keep the door closed). Remove the baking sheet from the oven. Squeeze out the garlic from their skins and add to a jar. Top with roasted tomatoes and a good glug of olive oil. Purée with a hand emulsion blender until smooth. Add fresh basil and blend. Taste to see if the tomato sauce needs to be seasoned with salt and pepper. Add a bit more olive oil or water if the sauce is too thick.
the culinary chase’s note:
This tomato sauce is also delicious as a dip. Enjoy!