After following this guide to growing awesome tomatoes you will end up with dozens of tomatoes! We have slowly been picking a few tomatoes over this past month as they start to ripen, but this week we had a bumper harvest where the majority of our tomatoes became big, juicy red fruits at the same time!
Like all good gardeners, we wanted nothing to go to waste. No tomato to sit too long in the fridge and become inedible. So I was looking at ways to preserve these beautiful rubies. Freezing whole tomatoes is a no-no. It destroys the flavour and the texture goes funny. Not nice. Sun-drying tomatoes is great, but I didn’t have a dehydrator, we don’t get hot enough temperatures in New Zealand, and I don’t like the idea of leaving my oven on for up to 40 HOURS!!
So, I decided that my best bet to preserve flavour not just the fruit, was to make a pasta sauce. And what better way to intensify tomato flavour than to roast them first! And the great thing about this sauce, is you don’t need to stand over a hot pot for hours! You just need an oven and a food processor!
So here is my recipe for ROASTED TOMATO PASTA SAUCE
(from 45 normal sized tomatoes, I got 1.8L of pasta sauce!)
1. Wash all the tomatoes you have on hand. I had around 45 normal sized tomatoes. And preheat the oven to 160 degrees C (320F).
2. Slice the tomatoes in half and place cut side up on a baking tray. I had a couple of yellow cocktail tomatoes so I chucked those in too to roast.
3. Drizzle the tomatoes with oil – I used canola cos that was all I had, but olive oil can be used instead if thats what you have!
4. Season generously with salt and pepper.
5. Roast the tomatoes for half an hour, and after this time pour off all the liquid on the trays (there will be a lot).
6. Return to the oven for another 5 minutes just to get a bit more colour on the tomatoes, as this will be more flavour!!
7. Brush the tomatoes with crushed garlic so that there is a little bit on each one.
8. Wait for the tomatoes to cool for about 20 minutes on the trays and then transfer to a food processor. I used a magic bullet!
9. After processing, the pasta sauce will be thick and creamy and absolutely delicious!!!!
10. At this stage I transferred the sauce to snaplock bags in serving sizes, which I then labelled and put in the freezer! However, if you are going to use it straight away then you can add any herbs that you would like! I kept mine nice and simple, and when I use the pasta sauce, I will season with herbs to match the dish!
11. This pasta sauce can be used as a pasta sauce, or in pasta bakes, or even in lasagna! Yum yum yum! Just place in a pot or a microwave proof dish to slowly defrost so that it can be used!