This has been a bumper year for growing tomatoes including mine but for me it’s if I can get to them first before the squirrels get them! I have come to the conclusion, the reason the tomato season is so great this year is the amount of rain we received in July plus the heat we had these past weeks. Tomatoes love the warmth of the sun. I decided this year to oven roast the tomatoes for the sauce rather than cook them on top of the store. I am thrilled with the result. It made the job of making sauce so much easier and it gave the sauce a better flavour. A hint for herbs, fresh basil adds great flavour with their essential oils but oregano is best if used dried rather than fresh. When cooking with herbs, know that dried herbs need to be cooked to retrieve their flavour while fresh herbs should only be added at the end of the cooking.
Tomato Sauce for Pizza, Pasta, Pulses, Fish or Meat
Makes 4 cups(1L)
- 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 1 kg (2 lbs) fresh tomatoes chopped, cores and blemishes removed
- 2 tsp (10 ml) dried oregano
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) olive or vegetable oil
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp (1 – 2 ml) crushed red pepper or to taste
- 2 tsp (10 ml) coarse salt or to taste and freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh torn basil leaves
- Preheat oven to 300F (150C). Brush oil on cookie sheet with edges. Spread chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic and oregano over the pan. Place the pan in the oven for about 1 hour. The tomatoes and onion should be very soft.
- Add tomato mixture to food processor or use immersion blender to puree tomatoes. Add the red pepper, salt and black pepper to taste.
- If using fresh basil, pull off the leaves from 1 or 2 large stems and finely chop leaves. Stir into tomatoes.
- To store, place in plastic containers, cover and freeze.