Thursday, August 25, 2011

For Better or Worse - Roasted Tomato Sauce

It was our anniversary last week, on Thursday, we had nothing in the house and planned to go out on Saturday night but I still wanted to make a nice dinner.

We had *nothing* in the house ... except ... a bowl of very ugly tomatoes. It all looked so promising. A week earlier I had taken these photos. See those huge, multi-forking branches of big, beautiful ready-to-ripen homegrown tomatoes?

heavy loadlooks promising

Well, a week later they looked like this! We've had a very, very rainy August and it was just too much for the dear things.

the ugly toms

Some had ripened enough though that I was able to trim off all the bad spots, a whole bunch of garlic and a few scallions for the best ever Roasted Tomato Sauce.

prep for roast tomato sauce

It's a breeze to make ...
hot peppers
To spice things up just a tad, I added one. Axel 
is not a fan of hot but I didn't even notice it. 
Tonight I'm going for two and hoping for just a 
tiny kick. We can all use a little spicing up, right?
  1. Cut tomatoes in half or quarters and squeeze out seeds (optional, the first batch I didn't, the batch I'm making for tonight I did - I think it will just make the sauce just that much smoother and more enjoyable.) Oh wait, "how many tomatoes?" you ask ... Enough that the bottom of the pan is covered. I used a 9" x 13" baking pan and it made enough sauce for four hearty servings.
  2. Peel and roughly slice four to five or more scallions.
  3. Peel as much garlic as you can stand - I probably used about 7-8 gloves and it was very garlicky but yummy good.
  4. Add a chili pepper if you like some heat.
  5. Sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and a healthy drizzling of olive oil.
  6. After about an hour at 200C / 400F it looks something like the middle picture, I gave it a stir and then just kept checking it every once in a while until it was starting to brown and most of the juices  had evaporated.
  7. Blend the sauce until it is smooth, serve over warm pasta and top with grated parmesan (or in my case now that we've discovered the source of all my tummy troubles - mature goat's cheese).
It turned out to be a lovely evening, Axel opened a couple bottles of wine and we devoured my peasant meal. Sometimes it pays to have nothing in the house, it's often my most creative moments. Not that roasted tomato sauce is all that original but it did make me feel better about losing that glorious crop. Better luck next year .. and here's to another 14. Cheers!

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