Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Tomato time!!!! The season we have all been waiting for has arrived! Tomatoes roasted with olive oil, sea salt, smashed garlic cloves, fennel seeds, rosemary sprigs, and sugar bring out the best of flavors and who knew it could be so simple to make? The roasted tomato sauce recipe follows the simple technique, of roasting the tomatoes at high heat ( 400 F) for about 35 to 45 minutes. Cool and peel the roasted tomatoes, and remove anything you think is not good to eat.
In addition to the roasting, I reduce my sauce over medium heat for about 20 minutes. Reducing, in the culinary sense of the word, means concentrating the flavor of a liquid by means of simmering or boiling the sauce to intensify the amazing flavor. I like my tomato sauce a little more rustic, so I don’t puree my sauce, however, feel free to do so. Either way, the recipe makes an amazing roasted tomato sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Interesting Tomato Facts

There are hundreds of varieties of tomatoes varying in size, color, and flavor. Tomatoes are one of the most commonly consumed vegetables in the US, with more than 22 pounds of tomatoes eaten each year per person.  Tomatoes 101: nutrition facts and health benefits. Tomatoes are often harvested while still green and immature, then ripened artificially with ethylene gas. This may lead to less flavor development, resulting in bland tomatoes. Tomatoes provide vitamins, minerals, and fiber, are full of antioxidants and may help fight several diseases. They are especially high in lycopene, a plant compound linked to improved heart health and cancer prevention.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

DIY vegetable wash

In a homemade DIY vegetable wash, I wash all my vegetables to remove chemicals and pesticides. Baking soda is not a disinfectant but it’s very effective in cleaning off pesticides. Fill your kitchen sink about 2/3 full with cold water, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the water, and swish it around to distribute. Soak your fruits and vegetables for 15 minutes, time will help the baking soda do its job and the longer you soak the more effective is the wash. Wash thoroughly and rinse well with cold water. Let it dry thoroughly before prepping or eating. I’m not saying that soaking and washing fruit or vegetables with a baking soda water solution will remove all pesticides, however, it should remove the most common types.

So which fruits and vegetables might you want to wash in baking soda and water? The Environmental Working Group (EWG), a nonprofit that advocates for policies that protect human health, maintains a list of the types of conventional produce that contain the most pesticide residues –  2022 shoppers guide to pesticides in produce, and yes tomatoes are on that list.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Why do roasted tomatoes taste better?

Use ripe tomatoes, and the best E.V.O.O you can afford. Roast until the tomato skins peel and brown, which concentrates and intensifies the flavors. With a little cooking, you have a wonderful tomato sauce.  I use all different kinds of fresh meaty tomatoes that I find at the farmer’s market, however, if you only use plum or Roma tomatoes you will be just fine.  Seasoning the tomatoes with fennel seeds, fresh rosemary sprigs, a little sugar, and smashed garlic cloves before roasting makes all the difference.  After the tomatoes are roasted, discard the rosemary sprigs and peel the roasted garlic cloves.
( reserve the roasted peels and garlic cloves for cooking the tomato sauce) To extract as much flavor as possible, I push the roasted tomato peel and the roasted rosemary sprigs through a strainer and add the liquid to my tomato sauce.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Cooking the seasons is all about balance

I buy local seasonal produce when available. Ideally, we would all like to eat local seasonal produce that is at its peak. However, unless you live in California, in reality, this can be very difficult.  I live in Chicago and I love to visit my local farmer’s market every Wednesday.  A great little market with products from Illinois, Wisconsin, and Michigan farms.  However, we all know that farmer’s markets can be more expensive than a supermarket and if you are on a tight budget it can be a challenge.  In the supermarket, I always look for seasonal local produce, even if it is sometimes hard to find. I recommend visiting the attached link for the seasonal produce calendar. A great online tool that shows you produce that is available by state. Of course, you could consider buying frozen fruit and vegetables! You will always find frozen berries and vegetables in my freezer. These are produced in season and frozen within hours of being picked, so minimal nutritional value is lost!

Use roasted tomatoes as they are

“Keep it simple, make it better”

Fennel, Rosemary Roasted Tomato on Hummus
Honey, Pomegranate Glazed Meatballs

The Taste

Great flavors, and a fabulous sauce that speaks summer.
Light clean flavor of E.V.O.O. roasted tomatoes, garlic, rosemary, basil, and fennel.

The Process

Easy to cook that makes a delicious and satisfying sauce.
The sauce can be used for all kinds of pasta.
Use ripe tomatoes in season, and the best E.V.O.O you can afford.

The Verdict

Don’t wait too long to enjoy the pleasures of roasting fresh tomatoes.
The preparation and the cooking are all about simple execution while using the best ingredients.
This recipe will keep in the fridge for one week or up to three months in the freezer.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Chef Norbert
Roasted with olive oil, sea salt, smashed garlic cloves, fennel seeds, rosemary sprigs, and sugar bring out the flavors and kicks everything up a notch. 
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Sauces, Side Dish
Cuisine Italian, Mediterranean
Servings 8 Servings
Calories 165 kcal

Recommended Equipment

1 Half Sheet Pan
1 9 " Fine Mesh Strainer
1 Cutting Board
1 Chef's Knife
1 Sauce Pan 1.5 Qt

Ingredients
 
 

  • 4 lbs tomatoes fresh
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 each rosemary sprigs
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 6 each fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves unpeeled, smashed

Instructions
 

Make a DIY vegetable wash and wash the tomatoes

  • Fill your kitchen sink about 2/3 full with cold water, add 4 tablespoons of baking soda to the water, and swish it around to distribute. Soak your fruits and vegetables for 15 minutes, time will help the baking soda do its job and the longer you soak the more effective the wash. Wash thoroughly and rinse well with cold water.
    4 lbs tomatoes

Preheat the oven to 400 F

  • Place the tomatoes on a baking sheet, and cover with olive oil, sprinkle the sugar, fennel seeds, rosemary sprigs, and pepper flakes, and add the smashed unpeeled garlic cloves. Roast the tomatoes (about 35 to 45 minutes) until the skin starts to peel and the tomatoes look browned in spots.
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 tsp red pepper flakes, 2 each rosemary sprigs, 1 tsp granulated sugar, 2 garlic cloves, 1/2 tbsp fennel seeds

Remove the skin from the tomatoes

  • After the tomatoes are roasted, remove the skin. Remove the rosemary sprigs and peel the roasted garlic cloves. To extract as much flavor as possible, I push the roasted tomato peel and the roasted rosemary sprigs through a strainer and add that liquid to my tomato sauce.

Cook/ simmer the tomatoes

  • Add the oil from the baking sheet with the fennel seeds, to the stock pot. Add the roasted peeled garlic cloves, and the roasted tomatoes and cook over medium heat until the sauce is longer watery and has a creamy consistency. Before serving, season with salt and black pepper, add the fresh chopped basil, and enjoy.
    1 pinch sea salt, 6 each fresh basil, 1 pinch black pepper

Chef Notes

  • I wash all my vegetables, in a homemade  DIY vegetable wash, to remove chemicals and pesticides, which is very simple to do. 
  • I like my tomato sauce a little more rustic, so I do not puree my sauce, however, feel free to do so, either way, the recipe makes an amazing sauce.
  • Use ripe tomatoes, and the best E.V.O.O you can afford.

Nutrition

Serving: 4 ounce | Calories: 165kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Sodium: 21mg | Potassium: 554mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate

Keyword Mediterranean, Sauce, Tomato
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

 

 

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