For the past few years, I’ve had a huge desire to start canning my own food. Call me an old soul. The jars are already customized with my last name so it just seems necessary, right? Plus, I like knowing exactly what’s in my food and that I’m eating produce that was sourced locally during peak season. The tomatoes I buy in January are sure as heck not from Switzerland, I can tell you that much.
Well, I took a canning cooking course in the US and was all excited to take my newfound knowledge back to Switzerland with me. I brought back my freshly purchased canning material, raring to go, but it turns out that Switzerland does not sell my beloved Ball jars that I just learned how to use (and 20 Ball jars don’t really pack well). They sell Weck jars and some other brands that have a completely different top, and I didn’t learn how to can with those! Not to mention I’m scared of botulism, so I’m not about to just dive in without instruction. Thus, three years later I still haven’t been able to practice the art of canning. I will one day but in the meantime, our spare freezer houses all my sauces, beans, and chicken stock.
My latest roasted tomato marinara sauce is packed in our freezer, waiting for those winter months…when the tomatoes you can find have been shipped in from South America and the grocery store jarred sauces just don’t cut it. The tomatoes are roasted with garlic, carrots, and onions, and blended together with fresh herbs to make an oh-so-flavorful sauce. It’s well worth an hour of your time for a winter full of comfort foods. Those summer tomatoes won’t be around much longer, so I’d go grab a whole bunch before they are gone and get roasting.
Cut, arrange, and roast.
Store for later (I did manage to get some use out of my jar funnel!).
Use it whenever you need a tomato sauce, or add some chicken broth to it for a nice soup. Buon appetito!
- 5 lbs // 2.25 kilos Roma tomatoes (or the freshest option)
- 2 medium carrots, chopped in 1 inch rounds
- 1 medium onion, peeled and quartered
- 1 head of garlic
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- ½ cup // 20 grams fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon red chili flakes
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Preheat your oven to 425F // 220C. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silpat mat. Cut the tomatoes in half and place them on the sheets, cut side up. Disperse the onions and carrots throughout the pan. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the tomatoes, carrots, and onions on each pan. Trim the top off of the garlic, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, wrap it in foil, and place it on the baking pan. Place both pans in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. At 45 minutes take the garlic out of the oven, but leave the tomatoes in the oven for 15 minutes longer. Then take out both pans and let them cool for a few minutes.
- Once the garlic is cool enough to manage with your hands, pop the cloves into the blender along with the tomatoes, carrots, onions, remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, basil, oregano, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Pour the sauce into jars or freezer bags, to be used within a week or frozen for six months.