Roasted Pepper and Garlic Tomato Sauce

I have a good old standby sauce that I use, but I also have a bajillion pounds of basil that need to be used up, and this seemed like  a good time to give a different recipe a go – especially one that could be canned.  This was outstanding, and pretty easy (if labor intensive).  I’ll be making this one again for sure.  It has a little bit of a kick, and will be great in both pasta or vegetable dishes.

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  •     2 bulbs garlic
  •     1 1/2 T olive oil
  •     3-4 bell peppers
  •     12 pounds ripe tomatoes
  •     2 teaspoons packed brown sugar
  •     4 t salt
  •     1 T balsamic vinegar
  •     1 t ground black pepper
  •     2 1/2 C lightly packed fresh basil, roughly diced
  •     1/2 C other fresh herbs–thyme, parsley, etc.
  •     6 T lemon juice (bottled is best)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Remove the paper from the garlic cloves, and place in a pan; drizzle with olive oil.  Slice peppers in half and seed, then place cut side down on a baking sheet (line with foil to make it a little easier) and brush lightly with olive oil. Place peppers and garlic in the oven for 45 to 50 minutes, or until blackened.

Meanwhile, get a pot of water boiling, and an ice bath ready.  Blanch the tomatoes a few at a time, then peel and roughly chop. Place the tomatoes in a large pot and begin to heat on medium.  Save a couple of them and set aside.

Remove the peppers and garlic from the oven.  Peel the peppers and roughtly chop; set aside.  Squeeze the roasted cloves into the bowl of a food processor, add the tomatoes that have been set aside, and process together.  Add to the cooking tomoatoes, along with the sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar.  Bring to a heavy simmer for about 50 minutes, stir frequently.

Add the diced peppers and herbs, stir, and cook until desired consistency.

Pour one tablespoon of lemon juice in each prepared/sterlized jar.  Ladle sauce into jars over the juice, and process for about 35-40 minutes total.  Allow to cool and store in a cool, dry place.

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