Monday, May 3, 2010

Arthur's Heavenly Tomato Sauce

After months of grabbing quick meals, I've been dreaming of getting back into the kitchen and cooking up some of my favorite meals...which usually involve some form of pasta, fresh cheese, and thick, crusty bread.  So this weekend as I finished up my remaining projects for school, I had some free time, so I cooked for some friends.   Eggplant parmegiana, pasta with homemade sauce, a fresh green salad shot through with arugula, fresh crusty ciabatta bread.  Delicioso. 

My friends loved this sauce made from roasted tomatoes.  The taste is unbelievable.   Rich, savory, the flavor just bursts in your mouth.   You might never want to eat bottled again.   Serve it with some thick, crusty Italian bread, a salad, and some wine, and everyone will be happy.  Here's the recipe I adapted from one of my favorite food writers, Arthur Schwartz, who hosted a food radio program on WOR in New York for years.  

Roasted Tomatoes (And Sauce)
Adapted from Arthur Schwartz, The Food Maven
(Makes enough sauce for a pound of spaghetti or macaroni.)

5-6 medium very ripe tomatoes (about 2 lbs.)
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2-3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup fruity olive oil
8-10 fresh basil leaves shredded or snipped
Kosher or table salt
dried or fresh spaghetti
grated Parmegiana or Asiago cheese

1.  Cut out the tomato cores with a small sharp knife.  Half tomatoes crosswise.  Coat bottom of a baking dish (Pyrex or disposable work well) with about 2 tbsp. of oil.  Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, in a pan.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Press minced garlic into each half; drizzle with olive oil.  Pour on any remaining oil.

2.  Place tomatoes in a preheated 375-degree oven and cook for 2 hours, basting them two or three times with the oil and the juices that collect in the pan.  When done, the tomatoes will have collapsed and some of the juices will have burned a little.  (This is good.)

3.  Cut tomatoes into small pieces and slide them into a pot.  Scrape burned bits into the pot to amalgamate into the sauce.  Heat as you cook the spaghetti.

4.  Drain the cooked spaghetti.  (I take it off the heat when it's a little al dente because it cooks a little when you add it to the sauce.)  Toss it into the sauce along with some shredded basil.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  (I also add some dried oregano.)  Don't forget the red pepper flakes for everyone to add at the table if desired.

5.  Serve immediately with grated cheese.


Note:  This freezes well.  It also stores well if you have leftovers.


Ella said...

Great looking dish! Make me hungry!

Meredith said...

Happy holidays to all your blog readers!