Tomatoes are a beautiful fruit. I love their bright colors; light pink, cherry red, golden orange and sunny yellow. My culinary heart skips a beat at the sight of them all decked out in their speckles and stripes.
Now that the markets are bursting with ripening tomatoes, this is a good opportunity to enjoy one of world’s most popular vegetables, (that botanically speaking really is a fruit.)
The recipe for Roasted Tomato Sauce is adapted from Barbara Kafka’s book, “Roasting, A Simple Art.” For the novice and seasoned cook alike, Kafka’s seven-page treatise on the art and science of roasting and cooking with the roasted tomato is a fascinating read.
For example, I was reminded that tomatoes don’t need to be perfectly ripe to be roasted (think of doing this with all those under ripe tomatoes picked just before frost). The process of roasting actually enhances the sugars, turning something ho-hum into something tasty.
Roasted tomatoes add a depth and richness to stocks and sauces. Tomatoes when roasted and then pureed yield a thick, creamy, intense tomato sauce.
Plum tomatoes or sauce tomatoes roast best, as there is a high flesh-to-juice-and-seed ratio. Although a bit seedier, cherry tomatoes are a great roaster also. Their sweetness only intensifies with heat. A food mill or screen is a quick and handy way to remove the seeds.
I roasted Sunrise Gold cherry tomatoes with Blush, an artisan variety, small, striped tomato (seeds from Johnny’s). Because we don’t like the texture of seeds in sauce, I used a screen to remove them. This creamy, pale-orange sauce was delicious! Our satisfying, easy and colorful supper was cheese tortellini tossed with roasted tomato sauce and bright purple basil.