Oven-Roasted Canned (or fresh) Tomatoes

Ann Marie McFadden           

 

28 oz. cans (or fresh) peeled whole tomatoes, drained, halved and seeded

5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

½ to 2/3 c. extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

14 large fresh basil leaves, torn

 

2 4-inch branches fresh rosemary

 

½ medium red onion, cut into ¼ inch dice

 

 

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.  Spread out the tomatoes in a large shallow pan (half-sheet pan is ideal) and sprinkle with the other ingredients, turning to coat them with oil.  Bake 2 ¼ to 2 ½ hours, basting and turning the tomatoes several times.  They’re done when their color deepens to dark scarlet and they taste mellow and very rich.  Don’t let them brown, nor allow the garlic to brown—it’ll turn bitter.

           

Transfer the tomatoes and their oil to a glass or china bowl.  Let them mellow at room temperature up to 6 hours.  The flavors will ripen in this time.  Refrigerate the tomatoes up to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months.  Serve the tomatoes at room temperature, or tossed with hot pasta.