Saturday, July 20, 2013

Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce

One of the rewards for driving down to South Carolina and helping my mom recuperate from knee surgery was a couple pounds of tomatoes from her friend Jane's garden. I drove home with aspirations of putting those tomatoes to good use.

On arrival in Spartanburg, I had the full intent to cook her three square meals a day, though when her friends started rolling in with spaghetti, shrimp pasta salad, peach cobbler, spiced nuts, fruit tart, chocolate covered strawberries, wine, and chocolate, I quickly took a place beside her on the couch and made my official job changing out the bag of frozen beans on her knee. There is no hospitality like Southern hospitality, my friends, and I witnessed it first hand last weekend.

My mom has talked about this recipe so many times, and it comes from her friend Jane and is often served at parties and book club. It is adaptable, and you can use it as a traditional pasta sauce, or pizza sauce, or spread over a baguette and top with cheese, or just drink it right out of the bowl with a straw. Not even kidding. This is my first time making a slow-roasted tomato sauce, and I served the sauce over spinach-stuffed ravioli.

Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce
Adapted from Demarle Tomato Sauce recipe

Olive oil
Balsamic Vinegar
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Fresh Basil (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place rack in center position.
  2. Wash tomatoes and cut into equal sizes with pairing knife. Small tomatoes can be cut in half, and for large tomatoes cut into three slices. Lightly oil baking sheet with olive oil, and place tomatoes on top. Then drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, and salt and pepper. Slice butter into tiny small pieces and dot evenly over tomatoes.
  3. Bake the tomatoes for 2-3 hours. This is very flexible, though mine were just right at 2 hours. Open the oven door occasionally to allow moisture to escape. The tomatoes are finished when they are deep in color and the water is mostly gone. For a chunkier sauce, serve as is, or for a smoother sauce place mixture in food processor and blend. I added fresh basil to the food processor before blending. 

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