I think our cherry tomato plant missed the memo about it being the end of September. Despite the chilly mornings and evenings it keeps producing lots of little red globes-- we picked almost two pounds this past weekend! These little guys are so good it takes a lot of will power to not eat them all while picking them-- luckily, we were able to resist and I was able to put them all to good use in a simple tomato sauce.
Tomato sauce is something that I think people have a tendency to over think. I've made plenty of sauces that were too sweet or too salty or too acidic or just downright weird because I overcomplicated the process. In my humble opinion you only need five good quality ingredients for a successful sauce.
If you look back through the entries on this blog you will find another sauce I made using a recipe from The Amateur Gourmet. It's a good 'starter' sauce and gave me the confidence to develop this one, which I have made many times for lasagna and other pasta dishes. Any variety of fresh tomato can be used, as long as they are in season. With the onset of cooler weather good quality canned tomatoes can be used in place of the fresh.
Simple Tomato Sauce
Makes about 2 cups
2 lbs of cherry tomatoes
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Coat the tomatoes with 3 tablespoons of olive oil and place them on a large cookie sheet. Roast the tomatoes for 20-30 minutes, or until the skins break and they start to release their juices. Remove from the oven and set aside.
In a large pot heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until soft. Add in the garlic and cook for additional 2-3 minutes. Add in the roasted tomatoes, stirring to combine all the ingredients. Reduce the heat and allow the tomatoes to simmer for at least 30 minutes so that they fully break down. Stir in the chopped basil, salt and pepper, to taste, during the last 5 minutes of the cooking time. Using a blender puree the sauce until smooth. Store in the refrigerator for up to one week.