Friday, October 7, 2011

The Last of the Summer Tomatoes?

Roasted Tomato Sauce

Olive oil
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
8 cloves garlic, peeled and pressed
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
fresh basil
hard Italian cheese

Heat the oven to 350°F and drizzle with good olive oil.

Chop the tomatoes roughly but evenly. If you decide to add cherry tomatoes (like Sungolds), cut them in half. I like a combination of tomatoes. Spread them in the baking dish. Stir in the minced garlic, a drizzle of olive oil, and about 1 teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground black pepper. Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter evenly over the tomatoes.

Bake the tomatoes for 2 to 3 hours. This is very flexible; you can bake them until the tomatoes simply begin to break down and release their juices. Or you can continue baking until their edges blacken, and the juices are reduced significantly. I like the darkened edges on my tomatoes and the intensified flavor of reduced liquid.

Once the tomatoes are just right, toss them with some hot pasta, sprinkle with ribbons of fresh basil and serve topped with gratings of hard Italian cheese.