Tomatoes, Tomatoes and More Tomatoes
We are very much into mid October now and the weather has been pretty fantastic considering. My tomatoes have been producing well throughout September and I am at the glut stage. Now I love tomatoes, especially home grown as the flavour is beyond compare to any shop bought. But I do have my limit of how many salads and salsa and tomato sandwiches I can eat.
I’ve even been dreaming about tomatoes (!!!) so I’m starting to think about what I can do with all these sweet ripe tomatoes. I have already oven dried and jarred some cherry tomatoes in olive oil and given lots away. I’m not sure if I want to make chutney but if I change my mind I will use the green tomatoes for that as I hate waste and the season is coming to an end and I know they won’t all ripen. I looked at various recipes but found nothing that really works for me so I have decided to experiment.
My family love Bolognese so I’m thinking I should make some sauce and freeze it in because that would really be the most useful way to use them. But I really love the flavours when tomatoes are roasted it just intensifies, so that’s where I begin.
My homemade roasted tomato Bolognese sauce / or pasta or pizza topping and anything else sauce. I have both large and cherry tomatoes so I separate them and wash them and quarter the large tomatoes and set on a baking tray. The cherry’s are placed on a separate one as they will roast quicker.
I drizzled a very small amount of olive oil over them and scattered some fresh oregano and thyme over too and popped them in the oven to roast. Once the tomatoes were cooked I removed them from the oven and passed through a sieve to remove pips and skins and was left with a beautiful flavoured roast tomato passata.
Next, I sweated some chopped onions in a pan in olive oil and added just at the end two garlic cloves crushed and lightly cooked but not burned. It's important that the onions don’t brown as this will change the colour of the sauce. And if the garlic is over cooked it will become bitter. Next I added the roasted tomato passata to the garlic and onion and added some chopped parsley thyme and oregano( you can add basil too if you have it but I didn’t).
At this stage you can customise it to your own taste, add some chilliest spice it up or peppers, the choice is yours. I then left it uncovered and allow to gently simmer for 10 mins. At this point it is a good idea to taste the sauce, it may need a little sugar. If so add a small amount of sugar, stir in and taste again until you have the desired flavour.
Tomatoes become acidic when cooked so generally need sweetening a little. Mine were so ripe and sweet I didn’t add sugar. Next I seasoned to taste with salt and pepper.
I put the sauce to one side to cool and then it bag up...yes in a bag! I love to use reusable pouches. They are fantastic for the freezer and stand up when you are filling the and are just perfect for this type of batch cooking. You can put your sauce into the portion size that works for you. Small if for topping pizza or larger for a pasta sauce etc. Don’t forget to label and date and then into the freezer they go ready for when needed. The results were fantastic, I’m so pleased. Roasting the tomatoes has just made the flavours soooo good. I’m telling you now you will NEVER( if you ever have) consider jar sauces again!