Roasted Cherry Tomato & Lemon Thyme Sauce with Fresh Pasta

Basket full of fresh yellow and red cherry tomatoes
My garden was on fire last year!  So much so, I was inundated with a bounty of tomatoes. 

There are; however, only so many garden salads one can eat before you need some variety thrown in.  Having a plethora of tomatoes sparked my creativity to whip up a roasted tomato sauce that can easily become a spread (a happy discovery). 

It couldn't be easier to make.  Simply halve the cherry tomatoes and toss onto a lined baking sheet along with crushed garlic and fresh lemon thyme.  In a measuring cup, combine the extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, brown sugar, salt and pepper.  Give it a good stir and then pour over the tomatoes.

Toss until evenly coated and spread the tomatoes out into a single layer.  Bake at 325 for an hour.  Then purée and you are done!! 

Red cherry tomatoes scattered against white background | Roasted tomato sauce | Shannon Fraser Designs

Fresh red and yellow cherry tomatoes chopped and then shown after being roasted | Roasted tomato sauce | Shannon Fraser Designs

Pureed roasted tomato sauce with mini blender in the background | Roasted tomato sauce | Shannon Fraser Designs

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Since I created this sauce last year, it has become a staple in my repertoire.  And I was beyond thankful for all the sauces I froze and got to enjoy throughout the fall and winter.  This summer is no different, I’ve already made several batches of this sauce and look forward to making some more with the next wave of tomatoes coming.

What is really great about this sauce is that it can be used in a multitude of ways: as a sauce, as the base for a Bolognese or a tomato soup and as a dip.  Love that!

In these photos, I paired the sauce with homemade fresh pasta which is easier than I expected to make.  Simply Italian on Channel 4 was a great series that encouraged me to finally take the plunge and make my own pasta.  

Boxed Kitchen Aid pasta attachment

I had been gifted the *Kitchen Aid pasta attachment a couple of years ago and I’m embarrassed to say it sat there for a FULL year before I pulled it out.  I most likely procrastinated thinking it was going to be a complex and arduous process…boy was I wrong.  

All you need to remember is to combine 100 g of flour with 1 egg and a pinch of salt per person you’re serving.  That’s it.  I usually make a mound of flour and create a little whole in the center.  Crack the egg in, add a pinch of salt and mix to combine.  

Fresh pasta in the making, ball of pasta dough and freshly cut fettucine | Roasted tomato sauce | Shannon Fraser Designs

 Knead until the dough is nice and smooth; then allow it to rest about 30 minutes before proceeding with the rolling.  Always start on the thickest setting.  And gradually move your way down to the thickness you are looking for, making sure to pass the dough through at least twice on each setting.  

Cut into the desired shape, toss with cornmeal to prevent it from sticking together, and allow to dry for 30 minutes before cooking in boiling salted water for a few minutes.  Seriously delicious.   

Roasted Tomato, Garlic & Lemon Thyme Sauce

Serves 2 to 4

Preparation Time – 10 Minutes

Cooking Time – 1 Hour

Ingredients

  • 2 Pints mixed yellow pear and cherry tomatoes – halved
  • 1 small head garlic – cloves smashed
  • 3 sprigs of lemon thyme
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper 

Preparation

  1. Preheat oven to 325˚.
  2. Toss tomatoes, garlic and thyme on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat.
  3. In a bowl, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper and stir to combine.  Drizzle over tomatoes and toss to combine.
  4. Bake for 1 hour.
  5. Set aside to cool slightly, before roughly pureeing. 

Notes:

  • To make this into a dip, reduce the quantity of olive oil and vinegar so that you end up with a thicker base.
  • You can reduce the brown sugar to 1 tbsp. and the sauce will still be equally yummy just a little less sweet.
  • Any variety of thyme will work.  In 2014, I grew lemon thyme, but in 2015 I grew regular thyme and the sauce was still just as good.

Roasted tomato sauce blended in a glass bowl | Shannon Fraser Designs

For the meat lovers in my family, I normally top this with either thinly fried pancetta or crispy bacon for some salty crunch.  I also like to serve my pasta with freshly grated Parmesan and dried red pepper flakes for a little heat. 

Enjoy!

xo

Shannon

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