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Sauces and Condiments, Vegetarian

Summer tomato sauce

Summer tomato sauce
Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times

The best way to enjoy a ripe red (or yellow or orange or purple or green) tomato is to stand next to a vine overflowing with sun-warmed fruit, find one that almost falls into your hand, and savor it right ... Read more

Total time: 1 1/2 hours, plus 3 hours roasting time | Makes about 6 cups sauce, or 12 ( 1/2 -cup) servings

Oven-roasted tomatoes

  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe plum tomatoes (8 to 10), halved lengthwise, cored and seeded
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Step 1Heat the oven to 275 degrees. Place the tomatoes, cut-side up, on a lightly oiled baking sheet and sprinkle with the sugar, salt and pepper. Bake until the tomatoes are shriveled slightly and are browned in places, 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Sauce

  • 8 oven-roasted tomato halves, chopped (See related recipe)
  • 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 carrot, peeled and minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 pounds mixed fresh tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes, optional
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Sugar, optional

Step 1In a blender, puree the roasted tomatoes with one-fourth cup olive oil until fairly smooth. Set aside.

Step 2In a large, heavy skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat and add the onions, garlic and carrots, cooking until the vegetables are soft and the onions begin to caramelize, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Step 3Add the wine, fresh tomatoes, parsley, rosemary, thyme, oregano, basil and chili flakes, if using. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, 30 to 40 minutes.

Step 4Add the reserved roasted tomato puree and stir to combine. Continue to cook over low heat for an additional 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Taste and season with 1 teaspoon salt and several grinds of pepper; add a little sugar if desired to sweeten. Serve immediately over pasta, or cool, then cover and refrigerate until needed, up to 5 days.

Note: The roasted tomatoes can be prepared in advance; they will keep up to a month covered in olive oil, stored in a wide-mouthed jar and refrigerated.

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