This hearty tomato sauce is a great way to use up extra veggies from your garden (or farmer’s market). It’s simple to make, freezes wonderfully, and the slow roasting creates amazing flavors!
My garden is getting out of control again. Every year I have great ambitions of keeping it pruned and organized, and every year it explodes before my eyes despite my best efforts (which aren’t very good…oops). The good news is that even though it looks like a jungle, it’s producing lots of yummy food for us to eat. I love how readily my boys are gobbling up peas, carrots, zucchini, and green beans that “they grew themselves” (or so Little Man likes to claim…ahem…I’m pretty sure Mom helped a little. Oh well. If it gets him to eat his veggies, he can steal my thunder).
One of the hardest things about a garden, for me, is figuring out how much I need to plant to get the right amount of food for your family. Our first year of gardening, I planted FOUR zucchini plants…for a family of three. Can you say overkill? Oh my MOUNTAIN of zucchini! I didn’t want to look at another zucchini by the end of the summer.In my frantic searching for ways to use and freeze zucchini and tomatoes that year (I WAY over-planted those, too), I came across a recipe for roasted garden tomato sauce at Our Best Bites. I’ve made several batches over the past couple of years, and I’ve tweaked it to fit our family’s tastes.Basically, you chop up a bunch of ingredients from the garden, throw them on a cookie sheet, and roast them for a few hours in the oven.
Once that’s done, you blend up the veggies and add seasonings of your choice to create a super yummy marinara sauce that can be used immediately or frozen for later. I freeze the sauce in labeled quart-size bags, and I pull them out for tasty dinners all winter long. It’s my favorite way to use up extra tomatoes from the garden.
So, now that all those tomatoes are coming ripe again, if you find yourself with too many to eat, try out this tomato sauce recipe. Enjoy!
Roasted Tomato Sauce from the Garden
Notes: You can use any kind of tomato for this sauce, but I prefer Roma tomatoes. They have more flesh and are less acidic than some other varieties. I’ve tried cherry tomatoes, but they just don’t work as well. The sauce ends up being a little more watery (juicier tomatoes) and the skin and seeds don’t blend up as well (I think just because there is so much since the tomatoes are so small).
- 2 lbs tomatoes
- 2 carrots
- 1 small zucchini (6-8 inches)
- 1 medium onion (I recommend sweet Vidalia onions)
- 1 head of garlic (about 8-10 cloves)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4-8 tablespoons of water or beef broth
- 1/3 cup herbs (I usually do about 1/4 cup basil, 1/2 tablespoon minced rosemary, 1 tablespoon minced oregano)
- 1-2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar (start with one and add more if you want)
- Additional salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil and spray with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Wash all your produce.and chop everything into 1-2 inch squares. Try to make sure everything is roughly the same size so it roasts more easily without burning.
- Toss tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, onion, and garlic with olive oil and spread in an even layer on the prepared cookie sheet. Turn the tomatoes and zucchini so they are skin side down. Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
- Roast vegetables for 2-3 hours in the oven, until the tomatoes are shriveled and the edges of the veggies start to brown. Remove from the oven and let it cool a bit.
- Dump the contents of your cookie sheet into a blender. Add your herbs and balsamic vinegar and blend to your desired consistency. If you like your sauce chunky, use the pulse feature. If you like it smoother (or you have a tomato chunk averse husband), blend it longer. If it’s too thick, add a few tablespoons of water or beef broth until you get the consistency that you’re looking for. The amount will vary a lot because it will depend on what kind of tomato you used, how long you roasted, and how thick you like your sauce. Just start small so you it doesn’t get too runny. You can always add more liquid, but it’s hard to remove once it’s blended in. 🙂
- Taste the sauce (this is Little Man’s favorite job), and adjust seasonings as desired.
- Let the sauce cool completely, then transfer it to freezer bags to store in the fridge for a few days, or in the freezer for several months. Yields 2-1/2 cups sauce.
Source: Adapted from Our Best Bites. Added zucchini and balsamic vinegar, simplified garlic cooking method, etc.
What’s your favorite way to use up extra garden produce?
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