Thursday, October 11, 2018

Easy (and excellent!) tomato sauce

Ready for roasting
My best friend, Cathy, has been a parish nurse for the last ten years or so. In her travels, she's met and helped lots of folks. Most recently, she connected with Molly, who is in her 90s, and who shared a wonderful recipe for tomato sauce, which Cathy passed along to me.

With the gazillion tomatoes my garden produced this summer, I've used the recipe three times already, and adapted it to make spaghetti sauce (adding some onions, peppers, herbs and lemon juice to thin it out a bit and provide a little extra citric acid for canning purposes). But the basic recipe is just so good, thick, concentrated and tastier than any paste in a store bought can) and I've raved about it to enough friends that it would probably be good to post it here in an effort to share something really yummy. The first time I made it, we put it on homemade pizza... and I will never buy any kind of pizza sauce ever again. Mmmm mmmmm!

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
(makes about 3 cups)

Ingredients:
12 vine-ripened tomatoes, in season
12 cloves of garlic, peeled
olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
herbs or other seasonings as desired

1. Preheat oven to 375° F, or 190° C.
2. Remove the stems from the tomatoes, making a hole into which you can insert a garlic clove deep into the tomato.
3. Insert the garlic cloves, and put the tomatoes into an oven-proof baking dish.
4. Brush tomatoes with olive oil and bake for three hours, uncovered. They may look a bit blackened in spots, but don't worry, this just adds to the flavour.
5. When tomatoes have cooled, use a slotted spoon to transfer them to a food processor or blender, leaving all liquid behind.
6. Process for about 10 seconds and taste. Add salt and pepper or other seasonings as desired.
7. Use immediately, refrigerate for up to five days, or freeze. (I like to drop my paste by dollops into paper cupcake cups and set in my freezer, then transfer to a plastic bag for freezer storage.)

Molly's recipe comes from an old cookbook page, probably long out of print, on which the author attributes the recipe to their uncle Uncle Bernie. God bless you, Uncle Bernie, wherever you are -- this recipe is better than gold. Gold could never taste this good! And thank you, Molly and Cathy, for sharing it with me.

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