Roasted Tomato and Pepper Sauce

This is a sheet-pan sauce with a minimum of preparation.  You can eat it the day you make it, but it will also freeze well and doesn’t take up much space.

Heat the oven to 350 or fire up your gas grill.

Drizzle olive oil generously over a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt, then stir with a wooden spoon to combine and cover the entire surface.

Slice 2 lbs. of Roma Tomatoes in half lengthwise, then arrange them on the pan cut-side up.

Remove the seeds and stems from 1/2 lb. of Gypsy peppers and cut into strips.  Arrange in between the tomatoes.

Peel 2-4 garlic cloves and cut them in half.  Arrange around the cookie sheet.

Sprinkle the vegetables with fresh aromatic herbs:  rosemary, thyme, sage, marjoram or oregano.  Add a dash of  hot pepper flakes if you like.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven or on the grill.  (If using the grill, turn it down to medium-low).  Roast the vegetables until the tomato skins begin to brown, then stir every a few times and continue roasting until the vegetables are soft.

At a certain point the tomatoes will begin to release their juices.  Take care not to cook too long after this begins to happen, as the juice will burn and stick to the pan.

Remove the vegetables from heat and allow to cool for 10 minutes.  Transfer to a food processor, making sure to scrape all the good stuff stuck to the pan.  Use a little water if necessary to deglaze it. Puree briefly.

Taste the sauce and season with pepper and more salt if necessary.  If the sauce is too sweet, add one of the following:  Chopped green or kalamata olives, capers, a dash of red wine vinegar, or squirt of lemon juice.

Toss the sauce with hot pasta, spread over bread to make crostini, or use as pizza sauce.



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