Our garden has certainly produced quite the bountiful harvest this year! When we planted it way back in May- we considered it to be a bit of an experiment- that we would try a bunch of different things and see what worked best so we would know better what to plan for future summers. And when it came to tomatoes- we planted both Beefsteak as well as Roma varietals- knowing that our kids really don't eat raw tomatoes at all- but figuring we could turn them into sauce or salsa…. or something. And why did we choose these two types? Because that's the two kinds of plants they were selling at the nursery when I was there! So literally- no thought was put into this!
And yet- with no idea what we were doing…. we harvested bowl after bowl of gorgeous red-ripe tomatoes! Definitely far more Romas than Beefsteaks- but as it turned out- Romas are the perfect tomato for making tomato sauce! I made a “test batch” earlier this summer- and pretty much decided right then and there that I would never buy canned sauce again! It was so delicious! And while a bit time consuming- it was pretty easy to make too!
Since then I have made 4 more large batches of sauce, some of which we have enjoyed on pasta and pizza, or even just spread across a piece of crusty bread! And some of which we have frozen and stored away to enjoy long after the garden has gone to sleep for the winter.
I wish you could smell just how amazingly yummy this is- when the tomatoes are roasting in your oven….. heavenly! Have I convinced you to try this? Good! Here's the recipe:
Roasted Tomato Sauce36 ripe Roma tomatoes (and if you have a few beefsteaks, you can throw them in there too!)_ 3 teaspoons minced garlic 1 small onion, diced
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons kosher salt 1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons sugar handful fresh basil, finely chopped
handful fresh oregano, finely chopped handful fresh rosemary, finely chopped
Preheat your oven to 300° and line a rimmed baking sheet with non-stick foil.
We also grew herbs in our garden this summer… so each time we would make this sauce, we would run out and pick a big handful of each right before the tomatoes went into the oven. Oh my….. fresh herbs….. there's nothing like it!
Chop your herbs, onion and garlic and place in a small bowl along with the olive oil. Then add the sugar, salt & pepper. Allow this to sit while you prep the tomatoes.
Now here's the time-consuming part…. you'll want to slice each of your tomatoes in half and then remove the seeds (which also means you end up removing the pulpy part. The pulpy part is fine by itself…. but I knew that my kids would not like seeds in their tomato sauce!). When you are done removing the seeds- your tomato will look all hollow like the photo above.
Empty the bowl of tomatoes onto your rimmed baking sheet, and make sure that are in a singular layer, with the inside of the tomato facing up. Roast in the one at 300 degrees for one hour and then check on how they are doing. If they are just slightly starting to turn dark around the edges, then it's time to turn up the heat!
Raise the oven temp to 400 degrees, and check on your tomatoes every 15 minutes or so. You want to catch them right as the edges start to turn dark. (And they will smell incredible!)
Allow them to cool for 30-60 minutes. (Oh- and if there are some little ones that get especially crispy that accidentally hop off the baking sheet and right into your mouth? Well- no one here's judging….)
My favorite way to enjoy this sauce every day is to top a half of an English Muffin with a generous spoonful and then sprinkle on some fresh mozzarella and bake at 425 degrees for a few minutes until the cheese is all melty and golden. This yummy snack is only (about) 150 calories and feel like a real treat!
I spend time every Sunday preparing our family’s menu plan for the week ahead. It’s just one of the ways that I keep my household organized! Here’s our menu plan for the week ahead:
Monday: Chicken in Brown Sauce
Tuesday: Macaroni & Cheese Casserole
Wednesday: Easy Weeknight Quesadillas
Thursday: Taco Dumplings
Friday: Homemade Pasta with Roasted Tomato Sauce
Saturday: Trying out a new recipe- if it's a good one I'll share it here next week!
Sunday: Cheeseburgers on the grill
This recipe is part of our Menu Plan Monday series, where I will be linking up Org Junkie’s Menu Plan Monday post. What’s on your meal plan for the week? Please leave a comment below- and share links to your favorite recipes!