seeing red! …roasted tomato sauce

the beginning of fall and the last of the tomatoes (about 10 kg) from my garden are ready for sauce. this is the second batch we’ve processed in the last couple of weeks, much to my surprise as i only grew 10 plants this year (we bought another 24 kg for canning).

my friend sheila, another avid gardener on vancouver island, shared her sauce recipe with me 2 years back and it’s definitely a keeper in our house!

with small embellishments here is sheila’s recipe for perfect tomato sauce.

« I have used this recipe for years and it never fails. I usually make it in the
summer as we have a vegetable garden and always end up with too many
tomatoes, I then make in batches, for the freezer. I use a lot of garlic in this
recipe but that’s because we love it and the garlic sweetens in the roasting
process. I have strained the sauce at times to remove the seeds. Though most
people don’t mind tomato seeds.


  • 2 lbs large tomatoes (i do a large tray on the bbq, about 4 lbs or 2 kg*)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herb seasoning (i use a tablespoon full*)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (1 for the tray and one to drizzle over the tomatoes*)

putting it together:
Preheat the oven/grill to 400°f. 205°c.
Slice tomatoes in half, set aside. (i give them a squeeze to get out some seeds and juice*)
Pour the olive oil onto a large baking sheet and spread it around the sheet.
Sprinkle evenly the garlic, herbs, sugar, salt and pepper over the oil.
Place the tomatoes cut side down onto the baking sheet (optional: add sliced peppers on top and drizzle with olive oil)  shake the italian herb mixture over the lot*)
Roast for about 30-40 minutes, or until the skins start to lift from the tomatoes. (i roast mine for about an hour until they are just getting dark caramelising on top*)
Allow to cool.
Remove the skins and put the sauce into a large bowl and break up the flesh with a fork. (…we invested in an italian tomato mill to process the mixture, it removes the skin and seeds quickly*)

Reheat sauce if using immediately.

sheila’s comments:
« I’ve been making this sauce and freezing it sucessfully for several years. (we bag ours in ziploc bags for freezing*) I press it in a mill to remove the seeds and skins once it has cooled. I have discovered that salt takes away the bitterness. I know some suggest sugar but salt works too. »

« It’s good if you roast a tray of sweet peppers with a tray of tomatoes and combine them. Roasting reduces the water content so you get a more intense tomato taste.
No stirring. I use parchment paper on the baking sheets. »

* ◊ my variations

home-grownseasoninggoodatxmas onthegrillitaliantomatomill reward

transplanting peppers

the weather has been decidedly warm resulting in an earlier harvest of some things and prolific growth with all of the vegetables…some good others not so much!

i’m finding quite a few items going to seed, turnip, lettuce, radish and particularly the broccoli, so much so that i have done a replant.

the most adversely affected have been my peppers.  i’ve used the « square foot » gardening method and find, in general, that it is too dense and plants get overgrown by the more vigorous growers. this has resulted in too little sunshine and some leggy pants.  this morning was d day and i dug up all the peppers affected (after giving them a good soak) and moved them to a new plot.  with luck they will thrive and produce in time for the fall harvest.

pick’n peppers

the peppers are picked…save a few small ones that i’ll let go till the first hard frost.  again, a nice harvest for the first year.  we ate some, gave some and froze some, as with all the produce this year it is trial and error and what i can glean from blogs, google and friends.

for me this is the end of harvesting.  my late crops of kale, turnip and kohlrabi are well chewed by bugs and looking spindly, they are also  ‘in the way’ for some needed  space and will go to the neighbours chickens and the compost.

garlic goes in this week! …can’t wait for spring…bigger and better.