Roasted Tomato Sauce

I love to make this sauce in the fall when we have an overabundance of garden-ripe tomatoes and I want the heat from the oven to warm the house up a bit (we have a really old oven that just radiates heat, inefficient but charming). Unfortunately I don't actually have an overabundance this year - I put too much nitrogen-rich manure on my tomato beds, so they grew huge and leafy but didn't produce much fruit. Live and learn. So I used some Speckled Romans, my favorite paste tomato, from Amyo Farms. They have an intense flavor that is richer than any other Roma type I've tried.

This recipe is from an issue of Martha Stewart's Everyday Food magazine several years ago, and it's a winner. Carrots make it extra-healthy and add a soft, mellow flavor. Roasting the vegetables brings out extra sweetness and depth of flavor. Roma-type (paste) tomatoes are usually best for sauce, because they have a drier texture and there's not so much juice to cook off, but any kind works well here because the carrots add body to the sauce. 

3 pounds ripe tomatoes
1/2 pound carrots
1 medium-large onion
4 cloves garlic, peeled
1/2 t. dried thyme or several sprigs of fresh herbs
2 T. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
Freshly ground pepper

Preheat oven to 425F. Cut the tomatoes in half (or quarters if you're using really big tomatoes). Slice the carrots and onions about 1/4 inch thick. Toss with the whole garlic cloves and herbs in olive oil on a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast about 1 hour - be sure to check several times in the last half hour and move veggies from the outside of the tray to the center as they begin to brown. Remove from oven, let cool a few minutes, and remove tomato skins with tongs or your fingers. Transfer the veggies with their juice to a blender and puree until smooth. Cool completely and refrigerate. Serves 4, with pasta.


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