I happened to have a plethora of ripe tomatoes and was not in the mood for a salad, so I decided to whirl them into a sauce. I didn’t want to stand over a hot stove cooking them down so roasting was the easiest option. Of course, one could argue canned crushed tomatoes are easier (fine, true) but trust me when I tell you this sauce is a breeze. You simply cut tomatoes in half & roast them skin side down, flesh side up. It works best to use tomatoes that are roughly the same size so the roast time will be the same.
I also decided to roast two full heads of garlic. When roasted the flavor is mild & sweeter so you can go HAM and add a ton. For the garlic, click through the pictures I’ve added to the gallery above to see the steps. You slice the bottom off, drizzle olive oil and roast in a foil pouch. You can slice the bottom all together or it will break up a bit, just re-assemble in the pouch cut side down in the oil. When the garlic is done you simply squeeze it out of it’s skin through the cut bottom. (disclaimer, I didn’t invent this method, I am not sure who did)
Since this is a very “to taste” recipe, if you love garlic you might want to add more later on. Finely dice 2-3 cloves of garlic (raw, not roasted) and sauté on the stove top. This will add a more traditional garlic flavor.
PS You’ll need a blender or a food processor to puree this into sauce later.
Roasted Tomato SaucePrint Recipe
- 20-25 Tomatoes, I suggest using plum tomatoes and adding a few other types for variety if in season. I also added Heirloom tomatoes. When cut in half the tomatoes should completely fill a 18" X 13" sheet pan (see picture). They will reduce so they should be very close to each other on the pan.
- 2 full heads of Garlic
- 1/2 cup fresh Basil Leaves (or to taste)
- 2-3 tsp Fine Sea Salt (to taste)
- 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil for Sauce & Roasting Garlic
- Canola/Vegetable or other oil for roasting (with a higher smoke point)
- Any other seasoning you add to sauce, oregano & crushed red pepper work well. DO NOT add sugar, this sauce will be on the sweeter side due to the fresh roasted tomatoes & garlic.
Preheat Oven to 375°
Cut bottom off whole Garlic head. If it breaks apart, cut bottom off each clove. (see pictures in gallery above). Take two small sheets of aluminum foil, drizzle Olive Oil in the middle and place each head of garlic in each prepared foil, cut side down. Wrap foil up around garlic to create a pouch or money bag shape. Place directly on the rack of oven, roast for 35-40 min.
Wash & Dry tomatoes and cut in half. Drizzle cooking oil into the sheet pan and spread evenly in a very thin layer. Place tomatoes in the sheet pan skin side down, flesh side up. Sprinkle with Salt. Add to oven & check timer. When you take the Garlic out, raise heat in oven to 425°. Tomatoes will be done when they reduce slightly, they will look shriveled and roasted on top but the body should still be plump. Tomatoes on the edges of the pan will start to brown slightly on top (see picture in gallery above). They will take about 45-60 minutes depending on the size of the tomatoes.
Once Garlic is done, remove and raise oven temp for tomatoes. When cooled open the foil pouches and squeeze the roasted garlic flesh out of the skin, squeezing down towards the cut bottom.
In a food processor or blender, blend cooled tomatoes, roasted garlic, basil leaves, 1-2 tbsp Olive Oil, 2-3 tsp Fine Sea Salt (to taste) and any other seasoning you would add to your sauce. Blend and pulse until fully combined, about 2-4 minutes. Tomatoes skins should be pureed and the texture should be a thick smooth sauce. Taste, add salt if needed.
Toss with your favorite pasta and enjoy!