Roasted Tomato Sauce
Who knew! All you need for a savory red sauce is a baking dish, a potato masher and 90 minutes. I think you will find this method so delicious and easy; it will become a favorite at your house. (And you don’t need a math degree to figure out this sauce calls for one pound of tomatoes and a clove of garlic for each person. Each pound of tomatoes will cook down to about one cup of sauce.) You can use fresh or dried herbs. Substitute oregano, or whatever your menu requires. There is no need to peel or seed the tomatoes – just use the reddest and ripest - Roma’s are perfect. This is a great dish to make the day before, or morning of, a party – just reheat in a saucepan and serve! If you have a lot of ripe tomatoes – go ahead – this sauce freezes well too.
4 pounds ripe tomatoes
4 cloves garlic, peeled, or to taste (I usually use 6)
Handful fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt, or to taste
Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
Heat oven to 400°. Wash tomatoes and remove the ends and any blemishes. Cut into quarters and place in a 9x11-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle garlic cloves over tomatoes. Generously drizzle with olive oil – and toss to coat.
Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Mash down tomatoes and garlic with a potato masher. At this point, the sauce will seem more like soup than pasta sauce, and the garlic will not be too soft. Return to oven for another 30 minutes, remove again and mash down again. Add the herbs, salt, pepper and stir well. Return tomatoes to oven for approximately another 20 to 30 minutes. Sauce will be thick, and your house will smell divine!
Remove from oven, mash down a final time. Serve over hot pasta.
Enough for one pound of pasta – serving 4.