How do we love tomatoes? Let me count the ways. We do eat them raw, of course, especially in the occasional tomato salad, and we love Tomato and avocado sandwiches on thick slices of the freshest bread, or tomato and pomegranate salad, and tomato tossed through hot spaghetti with a chilli and some olive oil. But best of all we love the transformation that occurs when juicy Autumn tomatoes are cooked.
Recently, I have been oven baking them into a wonderful sauce for pasta, for stirring through a vegetable hot pot, or for baking beans a la Tuscan Baked Beans (but use the juicy baked tomatoes instead of water). They are also great in curries – use them instead of fresh tomatoes when cooking Indian dishes. Blitz the tomatoes into a soup. The juicy roasted sauce can also be frozen for use in some later dish.
Baked Tomato Pasta (or other) Sauce
Make a couple of slits in the tomatoes with a sharp knife.Place them into an oven proof dish. Into the dish also place onion, garlic, chilli, lime or lemon, perhaps some herbs. Drizzle with some good olive oil.
Cook the tomatoes in the oven at 100C to 150C all afternoon on a cool day. Every couple of hours give them a prod and a stir, and the tomatoes will give up their juice and the accoutrements will soften and collapse into the sauce. As an added bonus, they scent the house as they bake, and the oven will warm the kitchen.
The weather is cold today, so some of this sauce will transform our pasta tonight. The rest will go into the freezer for another day.