Posted on 13 July 2010 by

Best Ever Roasted Tomato Sauce

tomato-sauce5By David Harbilas

It’s always a bold claim to call something the “best ever,” but there are a few simple reasons this roasted tomato sauce is so good.

  • You don’t need great quality tomatoes to make it.
  • It requires very little skill and almost no special equipment.
  • It’s made of only two ingredients.

This is less a recipe than it is a simple technique, and it is a true testament to genius of the restaurant chef.

I learned this sauce from Mark Gaier and Clark Frasier, owners of Arrows Restaurant in Ogunquit, Maine and recent winners of the James Beard Award for Best Chefs of the Northeast.  We served it primarily with seafood, though it can go well with nearly anything and if thinned out slightly with a well-made stock serves as an excellent soup.

Yields roughly 4 cups of sauce

  • 4-5 large red tomatoes
  • Some form of acid, either vinegar or lemon juice, though a good-quality champagne vinegar is best.

Cut the stem end out of the tomatoes and place in a baking dish. Pour about ¼ cup of water into the dish and cover with foil. Roast the tomatoes at 275-300 degrees for 4-6 hours. The tomatoes should give off a fair amount of juice and the skins should be shriveled and pull off easily.

When cool enough to handle, peel the tomatoes and place into a blender. Begin blending at medium-high speed, adding some of the accumulated roasting juices from the pan to allow the tomatoes to turn in the jar. Add a few tablespoons of vinegar, and if needed some salt and pepper.

The acid should provide a little extra punch to the sauce. Strain the sauce through a coarse strainer to remove the seeds and any extra skin.

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