Slam Dunk Sauce

This 4-ingredient wonder cooks itself while you watch TV.

Bowl of tomato sauce with small sliced tomatos and garlic gloves next to it
The Lazy Chef’s New Best Friend

It’s pasta sauce!  It’s salsa!  It’s soup!  It’s a go-to friend that will hang around in your freezer for nights when you don’t want to cook.  Here’s the scoop:

You will need:

3-3.5 pounds tomatoes (get them now while the getting is still good)

One head of garlic

4 or so jalapeño peppers

One big red onion

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  (I have a convection setting on my oven that is good for this particular recipe)

Cover two rimmed baking sheets with foil and a decent coating of olive oil for easy clean up.

Quarter your tomatoes, slice the onion into thick rings, halve and de-seed the jalapenos, and saw the top off the bulb of garlic.  Spread everything onto your oily trays.  Set the garlic upright and pour a little extra oil over the exposed area. Sprinkle everything with salt.  Pop into your hot oven and scamper off to watch TV.

After the length of a sitcom (25-30 minutes) check your veggies.  Anything that’s brown, such as the onions and jalapenos, can come out now.  The tomatoes will need the most time, as they have the most moisture.  We’re going for a nice roasted color, nothing scorched.  My tomatoes were ready at about the 40-minute mark.

When everything is brown or brown-ish, take the pans out of the oven and let the vegetables cool.  Once cooled, dump the tomatoes and their juice, the onions and the jalapenos into your blender.  Slip half the roasted garlic cloves from their skins and save the other half to spread on toasted bread (so good.)  Blend all these vegetable into nice puree.  You may add up to a ½ cup water if things get too chunky.

And now you have your wonder sauce.  From here, you can be creative:

  • Add lime and cilantro to make salsa.
  • Thin it out with stock, add cumin and make enchilada sauce.
  • Add chopped cucumber, avocado and more oil to make gazpacho.
  • Warm it with basil and pour over cheese tortellini.
  • Heat it up with chicken broth and cream to make tomato soup.
  • Freeze it and stare at it lovingly through the winter months when tomatoes taste like racquetballs.

And above all, be proud.  Because now you are one of those people who make their own tomato sauce.  Who knew it was so easy?

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