Tag Archives: roasted tomatoes

Quick Blender Pizza Sauce

Lots of substitutions can be made to make this recipe your own. Oven-roasted plum tomatoes from last summer’s garden were the highlight in my sauce. They keep well in the freezer and, when thawed, are still moist and lightly coated with olive oil. I ate one, of course, and it still had that fresh tomato taste, concentrated from the roasting.

This sauce is thicker and has a more concentrated tomato flavor than the Quick, Light Pizza Sauce I made a year ago.

Quick Blender Pizza Sauce

  • Servings: makes 2 cups
  • Difficulty: easy
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  • 1 cup oven roasted or sun-dried plum tomatoes ( I used 15 tomato halves)
  • 5-6 cloves or about 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 3 -4 canned peeled plum tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup juice from tomato can—enough to bring to consistency of a thick sauce

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth, adding more tomato juice as needed.

I used the sauce on this pizza: Pizza Day One and Day Two—following the directions for the dough, but using red sauce instead of  white. Since I wrote those posts, I acquired cast iron skillets (12″ and 8″) and have been happily making my pizzas in them.




Cooking Up the Summer Harvest—Tomatoes

I still have a lot of tomatoes coming for more of the following recipes

I think I already have enough roasted tomatoes in the freezer (about 8 containers, small and medium in size), which I made as the tomatoes began to ripen in small batches. I saved them in small containers so they could be added to dishes—sauces, pizza, salads—or just eaten like candy. These are the kind of  tomatoes roasted with lots of olive oil, salt, and thyme until they shrivel up into little red gems that are slightly caramelized on the bottoms and edges. I pretty much follow this recipe from Rachael Ray for “Roasted Tomatoes.”


With the rest of the tomatoes—the ones I didn’t put in the salsa of the last post—I made lots of sauce and puree. I don’t have one of those food mills that separates out seeds and skin, and now I’m not sure I want one. I found two terrific recipes that use all of the tomato by putting the cooked ingredients into the blender, not the food processor, the blender. Neither recipe requires peeling and only one requires seeding. If you’re thinking that leaving the skin and some seeds in the sauces might be bitter, you’re wrong.

The sauce is thick yet mild, not that deep red, highly-acidic kind you find in jars. It retains a little of the roasted tomato taste and it must be the onions and carrots that make it a little milder—yes, onions and carrots. One change I made in the process is not roasting peeled garlic with the veggies; I just added garlic paste to the mixture in the blender. The other change is not picking off the roasted tomato skins—they add a great caramelized flavor to the sauce and you don’t notice any pieces at all.

We have 5 quarts of sauce in the freezer, having already eaten two others with pasta.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

  • Servings: makes 1 quart
  • Difficulty: easy
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The original recipe can be found here: Martha Stewart’s “Roasted Tomato Sauce.”

Preheat oven to 425°; line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

  • 3 pounds Roma tomatoes (you can use beefsteak or a combination, but big round tomatoes take up more room on the sheet)
  • 1 medium onion, sliced in 1/4 inch rounds
  • 2 carrots, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • olive oil to drizzle over vegetables
  • Coarse salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon garlic paste, commercial or homemade from roasted garlic
  1. Core tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise, and place cut side down on baking sheet. You do not have to seed tomatoes for this recipe. Yay 😊
  2. Place cut onions and carrots on baking sheet. As you can see in the photo, it all fits on one sheet if you have weighed your tomatoes.
  3. Drizzle olive oil over all. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and thyme.
  4. Roast vegetables for about 45 mins or until caramelized.
  5. Scoop all the vegetables into a blender, then pour in any juices from the pan and add the garlic. Blend to puree to a thick even consistency.
  6. Store in freezer in 1 quart container.

I often double the recipe when I have a lot of tomatoes.

Tomato Purée

I currently have 11 pints of tomato puree in the freezer, stored flat in zip-top freezer bags. The pint (2 cups) size is good for adding flavor to other sauces and soups, etc. Follow the easy directions here: The Kitchn: “How to Make Tomato Purée




It was Pesto!

The answer to yesterday’s mystery freezer question is pesto—roasted tomato pesto. It must have been one of those days near the end of our ripening tomatoes, especially the ones brought into the garage to ripen after the season, when, faced with a mountain of ripe tomatoes, I did what I usually do—roast them with a little olive oil and salt, then figure out how to eat them. At least some of them went into the pesto. Roasted tomatoes make an interesting twist to that concentrated, thick paste. I could taste the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and walnuts, garlic, and parsley, which I prefer to cilantro. We ate it in spicy beef wraps, like these—Spicy Braised Beef Tacos— but without the extra crumbled cheese. I cooked the beef in the oven, in a large cast iron dutch oven, with about 3 cups of crushed tomatoes from the garden (also in the freezer, but recognizable).

What are your favorite ingredients to add to pesto to change it up?

The darker bits are char from the roasted tomatoes


Pasta with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Shredded Beef

I had a bunch of roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers in the freezer from the garden and friends, and I had used a few of each on hamburgers, but I was looking for something else to do with them and ended up making a big batch of pesto, using 1/2 cup for today’s dish and putting the rest in the freezer. It’s a parsley-walnut pesto base with the typical additions of Parmesan cheese and garlic and olive oil, then made richer with roasted tomatoes and poblano peppers.

The poblanos at first made me think of doing a Tex-Mex dish, like beef enchiladas or burritos, but the tomatoes and parsley had me leaning in more of a pasta direction. The Parmesan could go either way, because it’s a lot like the Mexican Cotija cheese. What finally led me in the pasta direction were those last five fresh tomatoes from the garden—well, not really the last because there’s a big flat of green ones in the garage that I’m hoping will ripen this fall. So this dish makes use of both roasted and fresh tomatoes.

This recipe is also about what else to do with a chuck roast than make pot roast with potatoes, carrots, and gravy. Nothing wrong with pot roast, but a chuck roast is flavorful and can be used in many other ways. I have a small chuck roast (about 2 lbs) roasting in the oven on a bed of the fresh tomatoes, peeled and seeded, and 1 cup of beef broth. When the beef is done and falling apart, maybe after 3 hours, there should be a nice sauce in the pan, although it may need to be reduced on the stove. Then I’ll add the pesto and some sautéed mushrooms and mix it all with the pasta, whole wheat bow ties in this case.

Pasta with Pesto, Tomatoes, and Shredded Beef

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
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Preheat oven to 350°

2 lb chuck roast

4-5 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and roughly chopped

1 cup beef broth or stock or bouillon

salt & pepper

1/2-1 cup Roasted Tomato and Poblano pesto (see below) or your favorite pesto

12 oz button mushrooms, sliced and sautéed in olive oil

1/2 lb pasta, cooked according to package directions

  1. On bottom of small roasting pan, place tomatoes and beef broth.
  2. Arrange chuck roast on top of tomatoes and broth. Salt and pepper the roast.
  3. Cover and roast for about 2 1/2-3 hours, until meat is easy to pull apart.
  4. Remove roast to cutting board and pull meat into shreds, discarding fat and connective tissue.
  5. If necessary, pour tomatoes and beef broth into small saucepan, bring to boil, then simmer, uncovered until it cooks down to about 2 cups.
  6. Stir in 1/2 cup pesto and taste. I don’t add any extra salt, because I find pesto to be salty enough for the whole dish. You can add more pesto to suit your taste.
  7. Stir in sautéed mushrooms and shredded beef. Pour over cooked pasta.

Roasted Tomato and Poblano Pesto

2-3 cups flat leaf parsley

1/2 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

8-12 roasted tomato halves (roasted with salt, olive oil, and thyme)

3-4 roasted poblano peppers, peeled and seeded

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup walnuts

olive oil to reach desired consistency, maybe 1/2 cup

salt & pepper to taste (I felt my tomatoes and the cheese added enough salt)

  1. Place all ingredients, except oil, in a food processor.
  2. Begin processing the ingredients, adding olive oil through the chute until it all comes to a fine and thick consistency.
  3. Reserve 1/2-1 cup for the pasta dish.