Here’s the oven-roasted version of the best tomato sauce ever.
18 ripe or just-overripe tomatoes (Roma is best, but any will do)
½ onion chopped fine
3 cloves of garlic chopped fine
1/4 or 1/2 cup of olive oil
1 tablespoon sugar (white or brown)
Herbs! Dried oregano, fresh thyme, fresh basil, fresh rosemary, other herbs if you have them: sage, tarragon…
Preheat the oven to 300 and line a cookie pan with parchment paper. Cut the tomatoes in half, and seed them with your fingers in the sink (or into the compost bowl). Put the tomato halves into a big bowl.
In a microwave-safe bowl, place the chopped onions and garlic with the olive oil and zap for 30 seconds. This softens the onions and imbues the oil with the flavors. Add the sugar, salt, pepper, and herbs, both fresh and dried. Now pour the mixture over the tomatoes and toss lightly, then place the tomato halves, face up, on the parchment paper. Any onion, herbs, oil left in the bowl can be spooned on top.
Roast for about two hours, until the tomatoes are very soft and are starting to caramelize. If the edges aren’t dark by now, you can turn the oven to 400 for 15-20 minutes. But watch, and don’t let the tomatoes burn! You want the edges to brown.
With tongs, put the tomatoes back in the bowl and grind with your wand mixer. You may need to add up to a cup of water to get the right consistency. If you are adding water, do it very sloooooooowly. Adjust for salt.