Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Roasted cherry tomato sauce

Remember those under-performing tomatoes I was whining about a couple of weeks ago? Well, the Blessed Virgin of Visquine has performed a miracle right in our little old backyard and we have tomatoes -- cherry tomatoes in particular -- coming off the vine by the truckload. The heirloom, Tigerella, is coming along nicely -- her fruit is tiny but toothsome.

But those cherry tomatoes.

Marginal citizen farmers that we are, the Wonderfully Patient Spouse and I cannot harvest these little jewels fast enough. As a result, quite a few split open and develop "butt cracks" as the WPS puts it so well. They're still mighty tasty, just not pristine in appearance and as a result, the WPS will have nothing to do with them. Which leaves us with a fair amount of cherry tomatoes. And which leads me to:

Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce

Note: I managed to accumulate 5 cups of cherry tomatoes (with an assist from a couple smallish Tigerellas). Adjust the recipe accordingly depending on the quantity of tomatoes you're dealing with.

About 5 c cherry tomatoes (butt cracks and all)
1/2 onion, rough chopped
2 healthy stalks fresh oregano
2 stalks fresh rosemary
4 cloves garlic, smashed
2 T capers
Handful of pitted kalamata (or your favorite) olives
1 T red wine
Oozle of extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Large pinch of sugar
@ 1 c crushed San Marzano tomatoes (I just happened to have an open can of San Marzanos in the fridge that coincidentally equaled a cup. Change up the quantity according to the amount of cherry tomatoes, but do use the San Marzanos!)

Preheat oven to 250 degrees.

Spread cherry tomatoes, onion, herbs, garlic, capers and olives in a single layer in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil, wine and sprinkle with salt, pepper and sugar. Roast for about 15-20 minutes, then give the boys a stir.

Continue roasting for another 45 minutes or so or till the concoction looks like this:

Now, the best part. Turn on the broiler in your over, slide the roasting pan in and broil the tomato mix till its brown. Stir and repeat.

Toss in a blender with the San Marzano tomatoes and give it whirl till quasi-chunky/smooth or straight-up smooth -- whatever makes your eyes blink when it comes to a tomato sauce.

Taste and adjust flavor with salt, pepper and/or sugar. Use with pasta, meats, as a base for soup, whatever. The world is your oyster, or would that be tomato? You decide.

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