From now right through to the end of summer, tomatoes are in season. Rich, ripe and bursting with flavour they make the perfect base for a simple and mouthwatering pasta sauce that will have everyone coming back for more.
This sauce can be made on a sunny Sunday afternoon or as a weeknight special to wow family and friends. If your oven has a timed off switch, so much the better, this delightful dinner can be all but ready when you get home!
2kg fresh ripe tomatoes
4 or 5 medium cloves garlic
1 red onion, finely diced
50g salted capers, well rinsed
1 cup vegetable stock
1.5 tbsp olive oil
4 sprigs fresh oregano
1 cup fresh basil leaves
Preheat your oven to 200°c (180°c fan forced) and grab out your roasting pan.
Quarter and core the tomatoes and arrange, as flat as possible, in your roasting pan. Peel and halve the garlic cloves and add them to the pan along with the oregano sprigs.
Drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive over the tomatoes, garlic and oregano and season to taste. Give the tray a shake to coat the mix with the oil and seasoning, then gently push the garlic and oregano to the bottom of the pan and cover with tomatoes.
Roast in your preheated oven for 90 minutes.
When the roasting mix is 15 minutes off being done, heat a large frying pan with the remaining oil over a medium heat.
Add the onion and a pinch of salt and sauté for 10 minutes until soft and translucent, add the capers and cook, stirring for a further 3 minutes until the capers are warmed and fragrant.
Remove the lovely roasted mix from the oven and scoop the tomatoes onto a chopping board with a slotted spoon (leaving as much juice as possible). Roughly chop the roasted tomatoes then add them to the frying pan along with their juices, seasonings and the stock. Cook, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.
When the sauce has been reduced stir through the basil and serve with your favourite pasta and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
While I have added capers and basil to finish this sauce, it really does make a great base recipe that you can add any and all of your favourites to.
Some red capsicum and chilli thrown in once the onions are sautéed, some olives added a couple of minutes before serving or some asparagus blanched with the pasta would all be delicious variations.