The other day I had a conference call for work, which I conducted from the living room of my house, on speakerphone. My wife walked in right at the end of it just in time to hear a co-worker (Hi Diane!) ask me if I had a fresh roasted tomato sauce recipe that I could share with her. Before I could even utter “bien sur (of course!)” my wife jumped right in and said, “I do!”
Now, my wife can cook. Not just your typical one pot casserole type of cook, but I mean she can really hold her own in the kitchen. Add that to the fact that her Grandmother is Italian, and you will understand why I had to…
…challenge her to a cookoff. A little friendly fresh tomato sauce recipe competition where the winner would get a week free of dishes and most importantly, bragging rights.
The next day we each took up a corner of the kitchen with our fresh tomatoes and other “secret” ingredients where we chopped and simmered and roasted and ultimately prepared two different sauces for our panel of esteemed judges.
I’ll cut an extremely long story short by saying that in the end, the honorable judges all voted for my wife’s tomato sauce recipe. Now I can hem and haw and complain that the competition was rigged, but I’ll be a good sport and say that I am sure the judges voted fairly even if they do call my wife, “Mommy.”
So, without further ado, Ladies and Gentlemen, please allow me to present the winner of our Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe Cook Off: My Wife! Now I better go and get on those dishes.
Fresh Roasted Tomato Sauce
1/3 cup of olive oil
4-6 cloves of garlic (or if you are like me, double that!)
2 diced shallots
5-6 lbs of ripe medium tomatoes, cored and cut in half
1 cup of vegetable or chicken broth
½ cup of dry white wine
2 tblsp of Italian seasoning
Fresh basil, torn or chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Tsp of sugar (optional)
3 bay leaves
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees.
Mix the garlic and shallots with the olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Place the sliced tomatoes cut side down and roast for 30 minutes. Add the herbs and basil and roast for ten more minutes or until the skins easily lift off of the tomatoes.
Remove from oven, let cool and then remove skins from tomatoes.
Pour the entire contents of the baking sheet into a bowl and mash them together using a fork. Season with salt, pepper and a touch of sugar if you’d like.
In a large saucepan, add the broth, wine, bay leaves and tomato mixture. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for about an hour on low heat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t burn.
Serve over gnocchi or pasta of your choice.
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