No matter how you preserve your tomatoes, I think once you try roasting them and then simply stirring to make the most delicious sauce you’ve ever had — you may decide to make this your main method of preserving them for winter use.
There’s something about oven roasting that imparts a flavor you just can’t get on top of the stove.
Stove Top vs. Oven
For years my method of choice was freezing tomato essence that I made on top the stove. When I thought of ‘roasted tomatoes’ – all I could think of was hours of cooking time for a few roasted tomatoes to have with a meal. So I never even tried it.
But believe me – that was small thinking. And as good as it was — the taste can’t compare to oven roasted.
The larger your baking dish the more tomatoes you can fix at one time. I fill two large baking dishes whenever I can.
Reduce the Liquid
As with most sauce or essence recipes the main idea is to reduce the amount of liquid in the tomatoes. It’s not necessary to get rid of all the liquid. Just most of it. (You’ll have a preference for how much once you’ve tried it.)
In it’s simplest form — that’s about it! Cook, stir and you’ve got your sauce.
Preparation can vary According to your Time and Taste
In preparing my tomatoes I make an X slash on the bottom of each with a knife. Dip in boiling water for one minute. (They’ll be ultra easy to peal because of the X slash on the bottom.) Place in a colander to drain and cool. Then peel and core each.
I then slice or dice and place in my baking dish or dishes. Roast at 450 degrees until liquid is almost gone. (Scroll down and see *Oven Temperatures for more options.)
Stir. Cool. Use or freeze in containers or zip lock freezer bags.
TMG Reader Makes it Even Easier
A reader of TMG sent me an email the other night. She was in the process of trying this recipe as a way to preserve her tomatoes for winter use. As little work as my recipe entails — she wanted to make it even less work.
She sliced and cooked the tomatoes with the skins on. She then put them in her Vitamix and made it as smooth as butter. (Update February 2016 – I leave the skins on when I’m in a hurry. Still great results.)
Here’s what she wrote after she finished: “— the result — THE MOST FLAVORFUL, AMAZING TOMATO PASTE YOU HAVE EVER TASTED IN YOUR LIFE! —HOLY COW IS THIS STUFF YUMMY!”
I wouldn’t be overly concerned about the oven temperature. I use 450 degrees because it seems faster. Sometimes the edges of the tomatoes will start to blacken, so I have to lower the temperature. Still delicious. (Update February 2016 – I now use 375º F for a more healthful sauce.)
I’ve seen roasted tomato recipes at all temperatures: 225 degrees, 350 degrees, 375 degrees, 400 degrees and 450 degrees. Try them all if you want. Then pick the one that works best for you.
Thyme, Rosemary, Basil, Parsley, Oregano, Sage, Oil, Wine, Garlic and Other Stuff
I think this sauce is so good that it doesn’t need another thing. But there are as many ways to do things as there are folks. Feel free to experiment or add whatever you think will be to your liking.
I’ve seen dozens and dozens of recipes that add the herbs, garlic and oil before the cooking process. I personally like it better added after the tomatoes are roasted, if I choose to add anything at all. See my post Addendum to a Quick and Delicious Tomato Sauce.
If you haven’t tried this roasted tomato sauce already, do so while tomatoes are coming in bountifully. Once you taste it you’ll want more on hand for the winter to use as is or to make any variation that your meal calls for.
That roasted flavor will get you rave reviews from your family and guests.
Other Posts about this Sauce:
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