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Oh my goodness, have you made tomato sauce with cherry tomatoes before? It’s SO good – and roasting them makes it even better! I know you’ll want to try this balsamic roasted tomato sauce as soon as you can, my family can’t get enough of it. Which makes it a good thing that it freezes well – I’m making a lot now to freeze and eat this summery goodness all winter long.
If you grow cherry tomatoes at all you know two things: they are delicious AND they are plentiful. As in, “what am I going to do with all these tomatoes?” plentiful. There’s only so many salads and fresh eating you can do when they’re pouring in by the bucketful.
But do try – this steak salad is a great main dish dinner, this pasta salad with Greek flavors is a favorite, and they’re good in an authentic Greek salad, too. Of course, you don’t need to stick with salads – try them sliced and topping a chicken-spinach frittata (or any frittata really) and in one of my favorite easy dinners, Greek style orzo and shrimp. So obviously it’s not hard to use cherry tomatoes in recipes, it’s just that when you grow them – even just a single bush – there’s usually a couple months where you just can’t seem to keep up with them.
For the longest time, I didn’t think you were ‘supposed’ to make sauce with them. And it’s true that the sauce won’t be as smooth as with regular tomatoes, since there are a lot of seeds – but if that bothers you, you can strain them out with a sieve, food mill, or Victorio food strainer. We don’t care, so I skip that step.
And like my regular roasted tomato & vegetable sauce, this is the easiest thing ever! Wash the tomatoes well, cut them in half and throw them in a large roasting pan with the remaining ingredients. Roast until it’s all browning wonderfully. Not only is roasting vegetables easy, it just brings out an amazing flavor!
I transfer the mixture to a saucepan and use my handy immersion blender to whir it into a thick, smooth, completely yummy sauce. It’s at this point that you can strain it if you want.
I always serve some for dinner over pasta or chicken and the rest I pour into freezer jars and freeze. Can you just imagine how wonderful this will be in January?
- *Note: all ingredients are approximate - use what you have!
- 2 Tb. olive oil
- 4-5 lbs. cherry tomatoes, washed well, large ones cut in half
- 1-2 onions, coarsely chopped
- 4-6 cloves garlic, peeled
- 2 TB. balsamic vinegar
- 1 TB. Italian seasoning (or a blend of your favorite Italian seasonings)
- 2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- ½-1 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Heat oven to 450 degrees. Drizzle olive oil into a large roasting pan.
- Toss all ingredients into roasting pan and mix well.
- Roast about an hour, stirring once, until some of the tomatoes are starting to brown and they've broken down.
- Transfer to a saucepan and whir until smooth with an immersion blender (alternately, you can blend a bit at a time in a blender, being careful of hot splatters). If desired, pass through a sieve or food mill to remove seeds.
- Serve immediately or let cool, divide into freezer-safe containers, and freeze to store.
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