Roasting tomatoes creates a wonderful caramelized flavor that goes great with chicken or pasta. For a yellow tomato sauce, follow the recipe, substituting Indian Moon or Earl of Edgecombe and either German Striped or any other large bicolor tomatoes, such as Regina's Yellow tomatoes.
ROASTED HEIRLOOM TOMATO SAUCE
Start to finish: 4 hours
Makes about 4 cups
5 pounds heirloom tomatoes (a mix of Brandywine, Eva Purple Ball, Rose de Berne and Livingston's Favorite is recommended)
12 cloves garlic
Leaves from 12 sprigs fresh thyme
1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped Spanish onions
2 cups dry white wine or vegetable stock
4 sprigs fresh basil, leaves only
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oven to 350 F.
Wash the tomatoes, cut out the tough stem ends, then cut the tomatoes in half. With a teaspoon, scoop out the seeds into a bowl and set aside. Place the halved tomatoes in a roasting pan or other baking dish that will hold them in a single layer, cut side up.
Chop 6 cloves of the garlic and scatter them evenly over the tomatoes. Sprinkle on the thyme leaves, then drizzle 1/2 cup of the oil on top. Roast for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the tomatoes are very soft.
Let the tomatoes cool to lukewarm. Pass them through a food mill, using the small holes, or rub them through a mesh strainer to remove the skins and any remaining seeds.
In a large stainless-steel or enamel pan over medium, warm the remaining 1/2 cup of oil and stir in the onions. Chop the remaining garlic and stir into the onions. Let the mixture sweat gently for 8 to 10 minutes, or until the onions are translucent.
Add the wine or stock, then raise the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half.
Add the strained tomato pulp. Place a sieve over the pan and pour the bowl of strained seeds into it so the juice runs into the tomato and onion mixture.
Stir in the basil and 1 teaspoon of salt. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking. When the sauce is thick, taste and season with salt and pepper. Remove and discard the basil leaves. Serve hot.
Recipe from Kevin Schmitz, chef at the Marketplace Kitchen, Great Barrington, Mass.