Pelati al Forno (ermmm, oven roasted canned tomatoes)

TomatoesRoastedVertbfLOWait! What? CANNED tomatoes?

Yup – and not those fancy schmancy  imported San Whomevers all the guys on the TeeVee call for, either.

These tasty little treasures are made with plain old whole peeled tomatoes packed in tomato juice. Lynne Kasper, the founder of this recipe, does have some preferred brands, but they include Hunt’s and Contadina, so we are not talkin’ break the budget here.

Rich gave me this cookbook for Christmas 2000 – and I am sorry to say that I have only recently begun to really look into the goodies it holds, such as a chocolate mousse made with quite a bit of olive oil, or Tuscan Rosemary and Pine Nut Bars – which I will probably toss together later on today.

So, GOOD STUFF – get the book!

Now, on to the tomatoes!


•2, 28 oz cans peeled, whole tomatoes, drained, halved, and seeded
•1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
•1/2 medium red onion, diced
•5 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
•14 large basil sprigs, torn
•2 sprigs of rosemary
•Salt and pepper to taste

TomatoesbfLOSee? Nothing too, too exotic, or even all that pricey – both herb packets were about $2 each. I could’ve used rosemary from teh garden and saved some cash, but I needed extra for those Tuscan bars I want to try. Let us not even discuss this year’s basil crop.

Set your oven to 300º.

TomatoesReadyRoastbfLOSpread your drained, halved, and seeded tomatoes out in a large, shallow pan and add the remaining ingredients.

Toss to caot them all well with the olive oil and bake for 2-1/4 to 2-1/2 hours, basting and turning the tomatoes several times. You want the tomatoes to be a dark, deep scarlet – don’t let them brown or I’m told they’ll turn bitter (most of the black bits here are the basil, so we were good to go with these).

TomatoesRoastedbfLOI should note that mine were nicely done in a bit over ninety minutes, so you should certainly keep an eye on ’em.

Transfer the tomatoes to a glass bowl and set aside to mellow for up to six hours.

Refrigerate the roasted tomatoes for up to four days, or freeze for up to three months.

TomatoesRoastedBowlbfLOSo! You now have these really nice, jammy tomatoes that are perfect spread on bread, tossed into a salad, or used as a sauce for pasta – all for about $10 and a little of your time. This batch is going to be used as the base for a sauce with Linguiça that I’m planning on using in a batch of my mom’s lasagna for a pre-wedding (ermmm, MINE, actually) dinner.

BONUS! You recall that juice the tomatoes came packed in? Well, you don’t have to chuck it – put it aside and add it your next batch of sauce – I’ve already used mine to fill out a jarred sauce I was serving over some asparagus ravioli.

Sounds like a bargain to me, and I DO love a bargain.

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