Pasta With End Of Harvest Roasted Green Tomato Sauce

Summer has now come and gone, and I am sad to say that after a great start at the beginning of the season, our vegetable garden dwindled down to nothing after getting too much rain. It seems that just a month ago I was complaining about having too many ripe, red tomatoes in my kitchen, and then one day they simply stopped ripening, and our tomato harvest was over. When we went in to pull the last of the tomato plants, I found myself with a bowl full of oddly shaped, different sized green and slightly green tomatoes. Since these tomatoes were not large enough to slice, bread and fry, I had to find another purpose for them. I have made green tomato pasta sauce in the past, so I decided to do so again, but this time I planned on roasting my tomatoes in the oven.

This sauce is a very simple one to make as it involves using leftover garden tomatoes, olive oil, an onion and garlic, all thrown together in a pot. You then allow the oven to do all the work for you, roasting the ingredients and melding the flavors to create a delicious, unique tasting sauce that has just a little tang to it. You can mix in some ripe red tomatoes if you want to mellow the flavor, or simply use all green ones. This sauce is seasoned simply with salt, pepper, chili flakes, and fresh basil which allows the tomato flavor to shine. If you find your sauce a little too sour, you can add a tablespoon or two of sugar, but I found I like this sauce just the way it was. I served my sauce on whole grain penne pasta (we prefer the Benedetto Cavalieri brand), but this sauce would work on just about any pasta type. If you wanted to, you could blend the sauce once it has been cooked to create a smoother texture, but I prefer a chunkier texture myself.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2014

End Of Harvest Roasted Green Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 4 Pounds Fresh Green Tomatoes, Coarsely Chopped (See Notes Above)
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Chopped
  • 3 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Minced
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • Red Chili Flakes To Taste
  • 10 Fresh Basil Leaves, Finely Chopped
  • 3/4 Pound Pasta of Choice

To Serve:

  • Fresh Baby Basil Leaves
  • Grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Lightly Toasted Pine Nuts

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. In heavy Dutch oven or oven-proof casserole dish, place the tomatoes, onion, garlic, and olive oil and stir.
  3. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.
  4. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour uncovered, stirring once.
  5. Check the sauce, stir well, and cook until it has thickened, about another 30 to 45 minutes.
  6. Cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted water until it is “al dente”.
  7. Drain the pasta, and add a large scoop of the sauce.
  8. Mix well over high heat for a minute or two.
  9. Serve in individual bowls with an additional scoop of sauce on top.
  10. Sprinkle the pine nuts and basil leaves, and offer the grated cheese at the table.

Inspired by recipe for Green Tomato Sauce