It's Autumn in my little corner of the world, which means produce is at it's most abundant and it's time to start storing things away for the winter. I have preserved excess tomatoes and fruit for the past few years and it is always such a treat to open a jar of fresh-tasting tomato sauce or juicy peaches in the middle of winter. After weeks and weeks of pumpkin, apples and greens, a taste of summer can be a welcomed change. I am going to do a little series called 'Saving the Harvest', on some of the ways I like to put away excess for the winter.
I was lucky enough to be given a few kilos of organic Roma tomatoes, and as time was short, this batch was turned quickly into three pottles of roasted tomato sauce for the freezer. This sauce is great on pasta, as a casserole base, as a baked bean sauce or as a starter for a multitude of different soups. It's a little more flavoursome than a standard passata, but neutral enough to lend itself to a variety of different meals. This is a very loose recipe, that can be adjusted to suit the quantity of tomatoes you have on hand.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Ripe, red tomatoes
Herbs, roughly chopped
Salt and pepper
De-stem the tomatoes and roughly chop in quarters. Place in a baking dish or roasting pan and cover with a good slug of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season generously with salt and pepper and a handful of herbs of your choice (I used basil, thyme and rosemary for my latest batch) and toss to combine. Roast in a 180 degree oven for 1.5-2 hours, stirring occasionally. Once cool, push through a sieve or mouli to remove skin, pour into pottles in serving-sized portions and freeze. If sieving, the paste left over is also great as a rich flavour explosion to add to pizza bases, casseroles or soups. I freeze this in ice cube trays for easy access to the right amount!