Thursday, October 19, 2017

Easy Peasy Roasted Tomato Sauce

We've had an Indian Summer for the past few weeks, which has been a welcome extension of the growing season.

We had a very cool August, a very hot September, and now October has been warmer than usual as well.

That was....until just a couple of nights ago, when the temps were predicted to dip to 28 degrees Fahrenheit.


You know what that means, right?  Time to start putting the garden to bed!

My sweetie has been having a fabulous garden season this year. Me? Not so much.

We each have different things that do better in one garden than the other. Root vegetables and dried beans are amazing in my garden....because I can just leave them be, and not fuss with them, which works perfectly with my crazy busy schedule. Tomatoes and fresh beans and peas are amazing in his garden, because he's out there picking every day. Works for us!!

Sweetie is extending his growing season by throwing a tarp over the tomato plants when the temperatures dip too low. That's awesome, because he has hundreds of baby tomatoes on the plants right now, and we'd hate to lose them.

As for me, I ripped all my tomato plants out this past weekend. Gone, done, finito until next spring.

I harvested the carrots, shallots, garlic, most of the onions, the leeks, and the scallions.

It was a long, busy, tiring day, but just look at the bounty I am blessed with.


That's in addition to the mountain of tomatoes that were already in the house.

So what do you do when your sink continuously looks like this?


You make sauce, of course!!

There's just one thing....remember, I have a crazy busy job and life and I don't have time for all that peeling nonsense.

Nope, my sauce has to be easy peasy, like most of my recipes.

So, what's a busy girl to do?

Simple...my Easy Peasy Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Ready? This is going to be a tough one.

Just kidding. You don't even have to write anything down.

Ok, grab your mountain of tomatoes, and make sure they are all washed.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Line a couple of cookie sheets with heavy duty foil, and drizzle them with olive oil.

Core the large tomatoes and cut out any blemishes. Place them cut side down on one of the cookie sheets, and sprinkle with salt.

Cut the larger cherry tomatoes in half (or don't, it doesn't really matter, I've done it both ways.)

Chop two onions into a rough chop and toss the onions on the same cookie sheet as the cherry tomatoes.

Peel two heads of garlic and smash the cloves and toss onto the same cookie sheet as the onions and cherry tomatoes.


I accomplish both the peel and the smash in one, by smashing the whole cloves with the side of my chef's knife, which makes the skins slip right off. Easy peasy, my favorite.


Sprinkle the cherry tomatoes, onions, and garlic with salt and toss them all together.

Now pop the two trays in the oven and walk away for about 40 minutes or so.

When you come back you'll have this glorious amazing gorgeousness....and the whole house will smell fantabulous.

What? That's a word!


I let this cool for about ten minutes or so, and then gave them a spin in the food processor.

I don't have an expensive food processor....as a matter of fact, I didn't have one at all for years. But now that I've gotten used to using one, I couldn't be without it. 

The one I have is this Hamilton Beach model, which was less than $50 on Amazon. I seriously love it. It's so simple to use, and gets the job done every single time. Love, love, love!


I pulsed the sauce in batches, making sure to get a little garlic and onion in each one, and then mixed all the batches together in a big bowl to blend them.


Just look at that! Easy Peasy Roasted Tomato Sauce....no peeling required.

Since the sauce required little or no work, while the tomatoes were roasting I whipped up a variety of pickles. 


From left to right: Garlic Dill Spears, Spicy Quick Pickled Radishes, Sweet Baby Gherkins, Vermouth Spiked Cocktail Onions, and Sweet & Spicy Pickles.  (The recipes I used can be found by clicking on the names of each pickle, if you are interested.)

Each one of these is a refrigerator pickle, which means you don't have to heat-process them in a canning bath. Again, I went for easy peasy! They must be stored in the fridge (not in the pantry), but that's ok, that works for us. 


At the end of the day, I was quite happy with all I had accomplished in the kitchen. I'm a busy woman, but somehow spending time in the kitchen, putting up the produce I started from seeds during the long, cold winter, brings me tremendous peace.  I listen to a little Chet Baker, and putter around the kitchen chopping, dicing, and washing up. 

It's all so worth it, to be able to open my freezer months from now and pull out a sauce that was made with veggies we grew ourselves. 

This is such a fresh and flavorful sauce, and will be absolutely heavenly on a steaming bowl of pasta, served with hot crusty bread and a good red wine on a snowy winter's night.

We will be grateful once more for the bounty the garden blessed us with, while we thumb through seed catalogs and dream of spring.

39 comments:

  1. You are one busy woman! I wish I had that much bounty. Maybe next year now that I have more sun on the patio.
    Brenda

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    1. It sure helps keep my grocery bills down, Brenda! You won't know what to do with all the sunshine next year, maybe you can try some climbing roses in a pot!

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  2. I never peel my tomatoes either! ("Ain't nobody got time for that!") I roasted mine plain and then just threw them in freezer bags. I will use them in soups and stews all winter. I yanked all my tomato plants out of the ground the other day, too. Made me sad. What are you going to do with the little green tomatoes? I left mine on the stalks because I didn't know what to do with them.

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    1. I thought of doing just that, Melanie, as I remember you mentioned that before...but I do love having fresh tomato sauce all made and ready to go - it sure makes it a lot easier on a weeknight to get dinner on the table in a snap! I'll see how the green tomatoes ripen and if they don't then I'll toss them in the compost bin.

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  3. Hi there Debbie--glad you visited and yes, all that food was really good--that was our first visit to that restaurant--I liked the decor too, very interesting. Love this post and you're right--harvesting, preparing, canning/freezing, cooking the vegetables, fruits, herbs you've grown yourself IS A FEELING OF PEACE. And wonderful accomplishment. I love it when you post easy recipes with lots of photos showing how to do it. You sure did great with your garden this year--lots of goodies! And I love the picture of when you finished....all the dishes clean and done and the kitchen clean and ready for the next time

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    1. That's one of my favorite feelings at the end of a busy day, when the kitchen is all cleaned up and the dishwasher humming away!

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  4. I love garden fresh tomatoes and even better, tomato sauce made from them. I wash my tomatoes, cut out the bad spots , slice them and place them in the crock pot on low and add garlic and fresh chopped basil. The I let the crock pot turn it all into sauce. I don't peel the tomatoes either. When it is all cooked through I run it through my cheap food processor and freeze it.Probably not anywhere near as tasty as yours, but still good and most of all EASY !

    Harvest time is a very busy time and it sounds like you're getting a lot accomplished in spite of your busy schedule.

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    1. I try, Kathy, I really do! Sometimes I really think I need a clone in order to get everything done I really want to do, but then sometimes I just say hey, I can't do it all! I have to let some things just go and not be so persnickety!

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  5. Great post! Love the easy peasy.

    Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

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  6. Ah, yes! Easy tomato sauce for a cold winter night. Sounds like comfort food to me! I have made my sauce much like yours, except I will also throw in a red bell pepper too. Yum. Your clean kitchen at the end with all the clean dishes in the drainer is such a comfy, homey sight. And I just love that pendant light! Happy Autumn!

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    1. It truly is a comfy, homey sight, isn't it Vickie? I also love that pendant light - my sweetie and I made that when I first moved in and I never get tired of it!

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  7. I'm still frying eggplant and making caponata with all the eggplant we grew this year - have no idea why it's so prolific! Could be all this weird warmer weather, as you mentioned. Our tomatoes weren't happy from the start - too wet in spring - then a hot and cool summer - so we took those out weeks ago.

    You did a fabulous job!.. I envy your refrigerator pickled varieties

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    1. I had ZERO luck with eggplant, all four plants I put in perished - I think maybe the slugs ate them or something. Oh well!! I bought a few at the farmers market and made ratatouille for the freezer, which I love to add to lasagna or toss over ravioli - yummmm!!

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    1. Sorry, Laura! Hope you had something tasty to whip up!!

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  9. I USED to peel tomatoes, then I got a brain ;).i started roasting them about three years ago and never looked back.. so much easier and tastes great!

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  10. That tomato sauce looks amazing! I must remember this next year if I happen to get more tomatoes from my friend! Nancy

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    1. Yes, for sure, Nancy! I started doing this last year and the sauce was so tasty all through the long winter!

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  11. Perfect timing for this post! My daughter just gave me a bowl of homegrown Roma tomatoes that this sauce would be perfect for. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Yayyy, hope your sauce turned out great, AnnMarie! Make sure you freeze some for our long winters!!

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  12. Roasting the tomatoes does bring out the flavor! I usually will take the result from the processor (or blender) and simmer it for a while longer to concentrate the sauce a bit more.

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    1. That's a great tip, Carole - that's what I do when I pull them out of the freezer! Makes the whole house smell heavenly, also!

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  13. Wow...that recipe is genius. I hate the idea of making sauce. It usually takes too long and I am never home long enough to babysit it. This IS fantabulous all the way around. Off to pin. Thanks!! PS- Write the cookbook already. I'm waiting... 😊

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    1. You're a funny woman, Kim!! I can barely clean my house never mind write a cookbook! I wish, though....oh how I love cookbooks!

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  14. Wow, your tomatoes are lovely. We haven't been able to raise any here in our hollow for the past few years because of horrible blight.

    Blessings~

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    1. Oh that's too bad, I'd sure miss my home grown tomatoes!!

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  15. You are one busy lady, in the depths of winter those sauces with taste exceptionally incredible.
    I see you have already had cold nights, ours are forecast for next weekend, maybe snow....Yikes.
    ~Jo

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    1. Wow, Jo, we have no snow in the forecast just yet, but the temps will be dropping again - I need to get things DONE around here before winter sets in to stay!!

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  16. Love to see what is all going on there in regards to your two gardens and preserving! :)

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    1. Always something, Deb, that's for sure! I still have a few onions in the ground and a few peppers and zucchinis that I'm hoping will get to full size before I have to pick them. Other than that, the veggie garden is DONE for the season. I still have herbs going strong on the deck, all but the basil, of course. I miss the basil, will have to get a little plant for the kitchen!

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  17. This sounds delicious and puttering in the kitchen is fun to me too! Yes, it's the best feeling to pull out something down the line that you've prepared ahead of time. We love to do that.

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    1. Oh so do I, Stacey, especially at the end of a long workday!

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  18. My mouth is watering! You are so fortunate to be able to grow your own tomatoes! My soil is so bad that it just doesn't work here.

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    1. Have you ever tried growing them in pots, Jill? I used to grow lovely tomatoes in whiskey barrels and pots right outside the garage on the blacktop driveway in my old house - it worked like a charm!

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  19. Enjoyed this post, Deb. The recipe is on my blog today.

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    1. Got the cookie recipe, Deb, and it's printed and going home with me!! Can't wait to try those cookies!

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  20. What a great harvest. Yum Yum! I made sauce like this also...so easy and sooooo flavorful!

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