I find joy in the ability to spend all day in the kitchen without actually spending all day in the kitchen. Paradox? Of course. The farmer’s market has been brimming with beautiful, lovely tomatoes these past few weeks. And I, in my tomato-induced-hysteria purchased more than two people and one cat (well, he bats the little cherry tomatoes around) could ever eat.
Enter my oven – that perplexing midnight-coloured menace that works one day and frustrates me the next. The oven facilitated this delicious, light, and simple tomato sauce. And my tomato purchasing frenzy left me with enough sauce for multiple freezer friendly dishes of the sauce. All in all, making a small effort on the weekend pays off on late weeknights.
The sauce is delicious on its own, but you can take inspiration from my mother, who added her own twist, which include chopping pine nuts and fresh basil in the food processeser. She then added the roasted tomatoes and garlic and finished it all off with a dab (you pick the size) of marscapone cheese. Talk about a scrumptious pasta sauce, and all with fresh ingredients from her garden – and if you’re lucky enough to have one, from your garden, too. As summer draws to close, I encourage you to make this sauce now(!) while tomatoes are still in peak season.
One oven, heated to 250 degrees.
2 pounds fresh cherry or other small heirloom tomatoes (conversely, slice larger tomatoes to equal size)
Olive oil. Salt. Pepper. Balsamic.
You can also add red onion, garlic, or red pepper to the mix. Eggplant would be tasty as well.
1.Combine the tomatoes, oil, salt, pepper, and balsamic in an oven proof baking dish. Bake for 3.5 to 4 hours or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly bursting. To make this on a day when you don’t have four hours, up the temperature to 375 and roast for about 45 minutes.
2. Using either a blender or a food processor, blend the tomatoes to desired consistency. If you’d like to add fresh herbs (parsley, basil, etc) do so now. Any other additions would work here as well.
3. Serve immediately or freeze in multiple containers for quick weeknight meals. The sauce can be frozen for up to a month. Just be sure to add a little bit of pasta water to the sauce when combining the sauce with cooked pasta.
PS. Yes, I’ve been away for a long time. Yes, I’ve been cooking. Yes, I’ve been busy. I’ll not make excuses to you, but I promise to be more frequent going forward (insert: after the wedding). I appreciate all of you who checked back during the hiatus and apologize for the disappearance.