Friday, February 3, 2012

oven roasted tomato sauce

So the other night after work, I was throwing together a tomato sauce. And I was actually throwing it together. It was pretty ghetto. I basically chopped up some onion, garlic, and a red bell pepper, sauteed it for a bit, threw some canned tomatoes on top, and simmered for an embarrassingly short period of time.

While I was making this ghetto tomato sauce, my mom commented that her tomato sauce was much better. Which is true. So I've included her recipe below. But it must be made on the weekend because it requires a few hours in the oven. The good news is that it's fairly easy to make because you don't have to keep an eye on it as much as if you simmered it over the stove. Of course feel free to alter this recipe as you wish. For example, I probably wouldn't put my herbs in a sachet. I am lazy so I'd probably just dump them in the sauce, cross my fingers, and hope for the best.

Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 cup minced leeks, white and pale green parts only
1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon minced garlic
Kosher salt
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 (28 to 21 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes (San Marzano is the recommended kind)
1 sachet (1 bay leaf, 3 thyme sprigs, 10 black peppercorns, 1 peeled and smashed garlic clove - all wrapped in cheesecloth and tied with kitchen twine)
Ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oil, onion, leeks, fennel, and garlic in a large ovenproof Dutch oven (hello le creuset!) or a baking dish and sprinkle with salt. Put in oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the veggies are tender and beginning to caramelize. Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven.

Meanwhile, drain the canned tomatoes and remove the seeds. Coarsely chop half the tomatoes. Puree the other half in a food processor.

Add the tomatoes to the veggies along with the sachet, season with salt and pepper to taste, and return to the oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes. The sauce should be thick and have a full rich flavor. Run the side of the spoon through the sauce - if it runs back together immediately, it is too thin. Return it to the oven and cook until thickened.

Discard the sachet and let the sauce cool to room temperature.

Feel free to double or triple the recipe and freeze the sauce!

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