Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

by Rachel on August 31, 2011

Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce

Cherry tomatoes generally have much more flavor than their larger brother and sister tomatoes, but their skins can be tough so they make an ideal vegetable to roast.  The roasting process softens the skins but maintains the original flavor profile (oh dear, I sound like my father – who says, “flavor profile” all the time).  I know it’s convenient to buy pasta sauce in gallon jugs at the market – but really, it’s just as easy to make your own at home for a fraction of the cost and with LOADS more flavor than the store bought stuff.  Try making your own sauce just once.  I bet you’ll be hooked.

Roasted Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce (makes approximately 2 cups of sauce)

  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes (any color – yellow, red, whatever you’ve got)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  • ½ cup fresh basil (pack the leaves firmly in your measuring cup – don’t skimp on the fresh basil)
  • ¼ cup cream or Greek yogurt (optional, drop for vegan version)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Place the olive oil, tomatoes, garlic and shallots in a small saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the tomatoes burst, about 5 minutes.  Using either a slotted spoon or a small strainer remove all of the tomatoes and place them in a blender.   Continue to cook the garlic and shallots in the olive oil on low heat until the garlic is soft, about 10 more minutes.  Using the slotted spoon or strainer remove the garlic and shallots and place them in the blender with the tomatoes.  Add the fresh basil to the blender.  Process on high until totally smooth.  This will take a minute or two.  Add the cream and the salt.  Process until incorporated – just a few seconds.

Keep the leftover olive oil and use it to make salad dressing.  Just add a bit of red wine vinegar or aged balsamic vinegar and you’ll be good to go.

This pasta sauce is terrific over linguine with some shrimp, or diced cooked chicken.   You can also serve it over a piece of baked halibut or salmon.  It’s pretty versatile stuff.  It will keep in the fridge for a week, or freeze it and use it later.

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