I always say that there’s no such thing as too many tomatoes and even as my kitchen bench is heaving with them, I stand by that statement. Why? because I have the easiest recipe in the world for making sauce and as long as the tomatoes keep coming, it gives me an outlet for ALL the other extra vegies that are in surplus from the vegie patch as Summer rolls to a close.
For the record… I do NOT like cooking! I used to kind of dig it but the truth is that raising little kids and fussy eaters has killed my mojo in the kitchen so if I share a recipe, it’s only because it’s fast, simple and vegetable patch related. The flip side is that I LOVE growing food so something must be done with all those vegetables and this is the easiest way of dealing with them (without just tossing them to the chooks which is a wee bit easier but maybe a tiny bit wasteful 😛 )
If you don’t have access to too many tomatoes (ya poor old thing) then check out your local green grocer or growers market. Our local – BJ’s Fruit and Vege have had some awesome deals on boxes of saucing tomatoes lately.
Take one baking tray and fill up at least 50% with washed, roughly chopped tomatoes. Any variety of tomato, slightly unripe, overripe, doesn’t matter – toss them all in, don’t even bother cutting up cherry tomatoes (in fact if all you have is cherry tomatoes that’s awesome, no chopping required). Remove stems, rotten bits and perhaps the bits with rodent/bird/worm/slater/slug bites out of it. Leave the skins and seeds – who cares!
Fill the rest of the tray with one or two onions, skins and ends removed cut into quarters, a handful of peeled garlic cloves and ANY other vegetable you need to use up. This recipe is ideal for capsicums, zucchinis, trombocinos, pumpkin, new guinea beans, eggplant, squash, carrot… the list goes on.
Splosh a generous dose of your choice of oil over the top, I use our lovely local Yirri Grove EVOO. Season with salt, pepper and a splash of either Worcestershire sauce or balsamic vinegar. Depending on your tomatoes (most heirloom varieties are pretty sweet) you might want to add a sprinkle of sugar to mellow out the tartness of the tomatoes. To my latest batch I’m adding a heap of figs for some sweetness and because I happen to have shedloads of figs that I need to get through but they really do add a groovy bit of something something to the flavour.
Bake until it just starts to caramelise and bubble. Roasting the sauce instead of boiling on the stovetop gives a much greater depth to all the flavours. Allow to cool then zizz it up with a stick mixer or blender and freeze in pasta sauce sized bottles or jars. If you’re freezing in glass (as I do) leave space at the top for it to expand as it freezes and don’t seal, just place the lid on the top until it’s frozen.
I use this sauce for bolognaises, pastabakes, shepherds pie… anything tomato-y and it’s a super hidden vegie sneaky one too.