Roasting tomatoes has been demystified in an earlier post; Chilies and Tomatoes; Grill, Broil, or Roast? (Basics)
For this tomato sauce I am using the roast and broil method. The tomatoes used are vine ripe, but I wanted the assertive rich caramelized tomato flavor in this sauce.
Makes 2 cups
Pre-heat oven to 325F/165C
- 5 hearty vine ripe tomatoes
- 5 garlic cloves, whole, peeled
- 3 tablespoons olive oil for brushing + 2 tablespoons for sauteing
- salt and pepper
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup bottled spring water
Core the tomatoes and place a garlic clove in the cored center of each tomato. Brush with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the tomatoes on a rack in a roasting pan lined with cooking parchment and place in the oven for 1 1/2 hours, then switch to the top broiler and broil for a total of 30 minutes, turning the tomatoes upside down for the last 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the tomatoes to cool.
In the mean time heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat and saute the diced onions until soft and translucent. Set aside to cool.
When the tomatoes are cool enough to handle, gently lift them off the rack and remove the skin, which will fall away easily, and discard the skin.
Place the tomatoes, including the garlic in a blender jar along with all the caramelized juices in the roasting pan. Add the sauteed onions and the bottled spring water and blend to a smooth puree; about 2 minutes.
Strain the puree through a mesh strainer, pushing all the puree through the strainer until there are only seeds and skin left in the strainer to be discarded.
You now have a thick velvety roasted tomato red sauce base that can be thinned as needed. As the tomatoes were seasoned prior to roasting there is no need for addition salting.
Store in an airtight container and refrigerate, if not using right away. The sauce also freezes well for a future use.