All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012
This is another recipe born out of what I had in the fridge that I needed to use before it spoiled. Actually, the tomatoes were NOT in the fridge because tomatoes should NEVER go in the fridge. Chilling below 50 degrees (and your fridge is likely under 40) will squash the aroma of the tomato, abort further ripening & even change its texture. NEVER refrigerate your tomatoes! There are other items that should not be refrigerated. Here is a handy list I found:
Store at Room Temperature
Of course, you can choose to ignore this advice.
Anyway – this is a really delicious & easy sauce you can literally whip up – once the roasting is complete. It is a thick, vibrant sauce that could handle meat (if you eat meat) or a cup of heavy cream to make it a decadent pink sauce. Peas would be nice – to add some color. The quantities of each ingredient here was decided by the quantity I had on hand. Do not feel like you cannot substitute, eliminate or add more/less of most (if not all) the ingredients. Here is the basic sauce:
Roasted Tomato & Garlic Pasta Sauce
6 Roma tomatoes – cut in half
1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes – left whole
(OR 2 lbs of whatever tomatoes you have)
12 cloves of garlic – gently smashed (oxymoron, anyone?) – with the flat side of a big knife – or the handle of one
1 large onion – quartered
1 GIANT shallot (optional) – quartered
4 carrots – cut into thirds (don’t bother peeling them)
1 TBS fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dry thyme)
1 TBS fresh oregano (or 1 tsp dry oregano)
Handful or more of fresh basil
2 tsp dry thyme (yes – more)
3 TBS butter
S&P to taste
1 TBS crushed red pepper (optional)
Heat the oven to 350 degrees.
I lined my pans with parchment paper. I don’t think that is critical, though. Line the tomatoes, carrots, onion & garlic in a deep roasting pan. I needed two to fit everything in one single layer.
Drizzle a decent amount of olive oil over them all & sprinkle with the S&P and the 2 tsp dry thyme.
Roast for 60-90 minutes until the edges of the tomatoes & onions & carrots begin to char. I put the cherry tomatoes in a different pan than the Romas as I feared they would be done earlier – and they were. So you might want to do this if using two very differently sized tomatoes.
Put these roasted ingredients INCLUDING ANY OLIVE OIL ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PANS, along with ALL the other ingredients & blend them into a puree using either a blender, a food processor or an immersion blender. Taste – add additional S&P to taste – and any other spices you think it might need more of & voila! Put it on your favorite pasta!