Sunday, December 2, 2007

fire-roasted tomato sauce

Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce

I thought for sure I would do something this weekend worth posting about, but it turns out that I didn't. I bought a fedora -- and it's smokin' hot -- but who wants to read a whole post about that? I bought some Christmas presents, too...along with 8 zillion other shoppers this weekend. Not interesting. I did finally get around to renting Transformers, and holy smokes, it was good! I can't remember the last time I was so utterly thrilled by a movie. It was like I was only 6 years old again, anxiously watching Optimus Prime and his team battle against the evil Decepticons. (Perhaps I've just made this obvious, but I wasn't a very "girly" child.) Transformers was my absolute favorite cartoon, and last night I was reminded of just how ridiculously cool it was. Even the theme song is great. (And is it just me, or does Optimus Prime have a completely sexy voice? Oh, please make a sequel....)

I have no transition whatsoever between the movie and this tomato sauce except to say that the movie was so awesome that I watched it again today as I made this sauce. And I may have danced around the kitchen while the theme song was playing. Anyway, I had been staring at the bag of cherry tomatoes and the yellow onion on my counter for over a week, so I decided it was time to either do something with them or push them off the counter. They wouldn't do anyone any good on the floor, so I opted to make some tomato sauce instead. (I'll be expecting my congratulatory call for the MacArthur "Genius" Award any day now....) I started off by using this recipe to roast the cherry tomatoes. They came out fantastic and I'll definitely be making them again because they would be great tossed with pasta and a little olive oil. However, for no particular reason (except to use up that onion), I continued on and created a full-blown sauce. Considering that it was sort of an ad hoc effort, I'm pleased with how this sauce turned out. It's different, with more of a Southwestern flavor than a traditional tomato sauce. You might even say it's "more than meets the eye." (Autobots, roll out!)

Fire-Roasted Tomato Sauce
Partially adapted from a recipe by Deb at Smitten Kitchen; partially original
Yields about 4 1/2 cups

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12 ounces ripe cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/8 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/8 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 28-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes (Muir Glen), drained, with juices reserved, and pureed
1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Preheat the oven to 400°. Grease an 8" x 8" baking dish with the 2 tablespoons of oil.

Place the tomatoes cut side up in the dish. Sprinkle the garlic, cheese, and breadcrumbs over the top, ensuring that the cut sides of the tomatoes are covered with the mixture. Sprinkle on the salte and pepper and bake until the tomatoes are cooked through and the cheese is starting to brown on top, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, melt the unsalted butter in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the fire-roasted tomatoes, red pepper, and the reserved juice and heat through. Salt to taste. When the cherry tomatoes have finished baking, add them to the mixture or use them as a garnish.

1 comment:

  1. I, for one, would love to read a whole post dedicated solely to the fedora of which you speak.

    In the meantime, I will give this delicious-sounding sauce the old college try. Can't wait!