After a summer of watchful waiting, watering, and wondering, the tomato harvest is finally here. The cherry tomatoes came first, giving us the taste we craved, as we hovered over the green tomatoes hanging heavily on the vine. Now I can stroll out to my tomato garden and come back with a colander overflowing with a rainbow of gorgeous fruits. At long last, it’s time to roast tomatoes for the freezer, for pastas and sauces all Winter long.
It’s my go-to way to handle this precious cargo. Before it gets hot out, crank the oven, trim and halve or quarter the various tomatoes, and douse them with olive oil. Halve a few garlic cloves and toss them in, and let it all roast on high. It’s simple and easy.
Once my tomatoes are shriveled, lightly browned, and concentrated, they are ready to freeze, or process further. Don’t discard the olive oil, it’s an important component of the sauce, and infused with tomato and garlic flavor. If you want, you can puree the roast, for a smooth sauce. In my Vitamix, I can puree them, skins and all, and make a perfectly smooth sauce. If you want to slip off a few of the skins, that will take away that slightly bitter, tomato skin taste.
Because I didn’t use any herbs, this sauce can go in all sorts of directions. Add chopped chiles and cilantro, and you have salsa. Add basil and you have an Italian sauce. Puree it with creamy almond or coconut milk, and you have a soup.
The main game, though, is easy pasta. This recipe calls for 2 cups of the roasted tomatoes, and half a pound of penne pasta. It’s easy to freeze the tomatoes in 2 cup portions. Bookmark this recipe, so you can make this in the wintertime, with your frozen tomatoes.
You’ll be so glad that you saved a taste of summer.