Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce
Roasting the tomatoes removes a good deal of the liquid, softens the skins, and intensifies the flavor. Once pureed, you do not even detect the skins, so there is no need to remove them, making this a quick and easy way to delicious, thick pasta sauce.
- About 15 lbs tomatoes, preferably paste tomatoes
- 3 medium onions
- 4-6 cloves of garlic
- 4 sweet red peppers
- 2 green peppers
- 2-3 tbsp. salt, to taste
- 1 c. red wine
- a few dashes of worcestire sauce (optional)
- a large handful of fresh basil and oregano, or the herbs of your choice
- a few tbsp. olive oil
- ½ c. lemon juice or red wine vinegar (for canning)
Wash tomatoes. Cut large pastes (all except Juliets, in half and place in bowls.) Then chop (or pulse in food processor to coarsely chop) garlic, onions, and peppers. In large stockpot, sauté garlic, onions, and peppers until tender. Remove from heat.
Next, roast tomatoes. Place halves of large paste tomatoes cut side down on cookie trays or glass casserole dishes with a lip. Roast tomatoes at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until skin is crinkly, the tomatoes have softened considerably, and released juice. With a slotted spoon or spatula, transfer roasted tomatoes, leaving juice behind, into a food processor. Puree for a few minutes. Add puree to stockpot with cooked vegetables, and simmer over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
Continue this process until all tomatoes are roasted, pureed, and added to stockpot, continuing to simmer and stir sauce the entire time. This will help it to thicken further. (Juliets are very small plum-type tomatoes and they can be either roasted whole and pureed, or simply pureed without roasting.) The tomato juice can be saved for soups, etc. or discarded.
Now, you may want to cook the sauce a little longer, until it reaches your desired consistency. I like to cook it down until a wooden spoon will stand in the center of the pot. Once you have your desired consistency, add the salt, red wine and worcestire sauce. Chop the herbs and add them. Adjust seasonings to taste. For canning, add lemon juice or red wine vinegar. The lemon juice is not necessary if you intend to freeze.
To can sauce, have hot, sterilized pint jars and lids ready. Pack hot sauce into hot jars, leaving ½ inch headspace. Process in a boiling-water bath for 45 minutes.
Yield: 10-11 pints.