How to ensure you never throw away tomatoes

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I recently made my own tomato sauce, by roasting tomatoes and blending them. It was fantastic, it made me feel like I was a nonna cooking in a tratoria. You should try it.

I decided to make the sauce because I basically bought way too many tomatoes, I had a number of different varieties so I just decided as they were about to go in the bin, they should not go to waste and be made into something. I used a mixture of vine, beef, cherry and salad tomatoes, you can a mixture you feel comfortable with. That’s the good thing about Italian cooking, it doesn’t judge you for using the cheaper ones.

To make the sauce, I roasted the tomatoes, which were roughly half a kilo in weight, in a big roasting tin to give them room to breath. I cut everything into the same size chunks, drizzled on some olive oil, added handsome sprinkles of dried oregano and basil, and then added five large cloves of garlic which were peeled.

I put a small amount of sea salt in, but that’s about it. Don’t forget that you then use this, as part of a sauce which then gets reduced down, and spiced up. So it doesn’t need anything really.

This all cooked on gas mark five, for about three hours. It smelt divine by the end.

When you take the tomatoes out of the oven, I’d highly recommend letting it all cool down, which then makes thing easier to handle when you’re blending it in your food processor.

Some tips here: do try and do this in batches if your food processor isn’t the biggest, and make sure you blend things to a level you’re happy with. If you like a slightly chunky tomato sauce, there isn’t a single thing wrong with that.

You can now proceed to either use the sauce, to make a spaghetti bolognese, or even just eat it as it is on some buttery pasta.

The trick to making this fantastic when cooking it, in my opinion, is in letting it cook down and let the tomato flavour develop. Add in some sugar to counteract the acidity of the tomatoes, add in some wine for richness, some butter to make it creamy. The choice is yours!

Enjoy! Roi x