Thursday, September 25, 2008

Oven Tomato Sauce

Looks like this may be the last tomato harvest of the year.

We've actually been going through them so fast (and Bob's been giving a lot away too) that I haven't given a whole lot of thought as to what to do with them all and I haven't preserved any for the winter.

Recently, I read (on my sister's Yahoo list) a way of preparing tomatoes to use as a sauce and to freeze. I've made it twice before and this time, I was determined to get extra to freeze.

I picked as many tomatoes as I could find on the bushes as well as a few peppers.

I also found some basil and oregano, brought it all inside and added a few onions and garlic.
My son helped me by briefly dipping each tomato in boiling water and then plunging them into ice water to make them easier to peel. Peeling is not compulsory, but it makes the sauce a little more civilized.

The tomatoes were chopped into halves and quarters and I squeezed some of the seedy parts out as I was preparing them. I chopped the onions and peppers, smashed up quite a bit of garlic, cut up the basil and oregano and found a box of baby portabello mushrooms, then sprinkled all of those as evenly as I could over the tomatoes. A little salt and pepper and a good shot of olive oil over it all, and into an oven at 400 degree Fahrenheit for about an hour and a half.
I stirred it a couple of times as it baked and when it came out, it looked like this:
This was followed by a frenzy of eating! I made spaghetti and added the sauce. We served it with mozzarella and Parmesan and a loaf of Italian bread - oh, so good!

I don't have any pictures of the finished dish (see above frenzy!) Suffice it to say, it was delicious! We served 7 people with one pan of sauce and 2 pounds of pasta. The sauce appears to be thin and watery, but do not be mislead by the appearance. This sauce is full of flavor and especially good when served in a bowl.

I'm a bit excited because after the second pan of sauce cooled, I packaged it in zip loc bags and now have 2 quarts of this ambrosia in the freezer for the winter - or maybe the fall.

Next year, I'll be doing this all summer and we'll be well stocked! Sorry to tell you if you have received some of our overabundance this year you should not be expecting it next year!


Anonymous said...

Would it work to put it all in a food processor after it is cooked? I don't like chunks of tomato! lol This recipe sounds awesome though!

Maryanne said...

Sure. I sometimes hit the sauce with a stick blender. It changes the texture so it is more like a regular sauce, makes it sort of "creamy." (My son doesn't like the big pieces of tomato either, but I like it right out of the oven.)