Thursday, 30 September 2010

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce

 By Abby of Love Made the Radish Grow
Though there have been no gluts of tomatoes this year, the plants we did get in are doing very well. I canned a bit of diced tomatoes to use for salsa throughout the winter, as we do not like canned salsa. The other big thing we use is sauce for pizza and pasta. I do not like just pureeing tomatoes and trying to get them cooked down and thickened up at the last minute-usually we have pizza or pasta when we are running short on time, so I needed a grab and go sauce. I found a recipe for an oven roasted sauce, and tweaked it a bit to our taste. It turned out beautifully and was very simple.
First, cut up enough tomatoes to generously fill a 9X13 or standard sized rectangular casserole dish. Put some olive oil in the bottom before you toss them in to help them from sticking and add flavor. I used about 1/4 c.  I kept the tomatoes in quarters-anything smaller and it can get very tedious to pick out the skins later. Then I quartered one onion and broke up the cloves of one large head of garlic, though I DID NOT skin them and put all of that on top. I also had a couple sweet peppers in there somewhere just chopped a bit.
Put all of this in a 450 degree oven for 45 minutes, then turn it down to 350 for another hour to two hours. Just watch everything roast. Once the tomatoes are sufficiently cooked down (their insides should squish well and the skins just fall off) and your garlic squeezes right out of the skins, you are done cooking.
Let everything rest on the counter until it cools enough you can handle it. It may take a while. Just cover it up and do something else. Once it is cool, squeeze the garlic out of its skins and remove all the tomatoes skins you find. All those skins will make your sauce bitter. Start moving the veggies to a food processor-it took a couple batches to get everything done.  Once you have pureed everything to a sauce, including all the juices in the bottom of the pan, mix your batches together and season with salt, pepper, oregano, basil and sugar to your taste. Fill jars and process 35 minutes for quarts, at 10 pounds pressure in your pressure canner.