Tomato sauce from grape tomatoes?
Help--I'm drowning in grape tomatoes. Have frozen pints and pints. The neighbors run away from me lest I foist more 'maters on them. Made jam. Made everything else I can think of from them.
So, can you make decent tomato sauce from the little gems? I don't have a food mill, and I refuse to individually peel 1,000 of them for sauce, but I could either force the cooked product through a sieve or blend the skin in.
But, is this do-able?
I've done a quick sauce with them. I cook up some (a lot!) of garlic, add in the tomatoes (cut in half) and cook them down very quickly (they should be very soft, but not completely lose their shape) and then throw in some fresh basil at the end. It's simple and 15 minutes from beginning to end. It's not the thick, rich sauce you might like, but it's a great way to get the flavors. My husband is not a fan of the skins, but skins don't bother me in a sauce.
To dry tomatoes at home, I cut in half (pole to pole) and place on cooling racks over a rimmed baking sheet. Late in the evening, turn the oven on low. Put the tomatoes into the oven. Go to bed. Check tomatoes in the morning. Usually they are done enough. Cool, pack into ziplock bags, and freeze.
Think "Salsa di pomodoro". Cachetes and Treb posted delicious sounding recipes.
In regards to freezing, both should freeze well due to the high liquid content. You just need to make sure you leave adequate head space so your containers don't pop their tops.
Another option is to toss halved tomatoes in a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Bake them off at 325F until slightly brown around the edges, about an hour. With a large sheet pan lined with parchment, you can easily roast 2 to 3 lbs in a single layer at a time. The oven roasted tomatoes should freeze well too.
When I am tired of eating cherry tomatoes while I water (not yet!) I make the following really simple sauce:
Pasta con Pomodoretti
2 lb. cherry tomatoes, cut in half unless very small
3 T bread crumbs
3 T grated Pecorino (or Romano)
2 T olive oil
Toss everything together and spread in a shallow metal pan (jelly roll). Place in a 450° oven
for about 15 minutes until tomatoes begin to crackle. Toss with cooked short pasta, about
1/2 pound. Serve with additional Pecorino and pepper.
Since I grow Sweet 100's (small) I don't cut the tomatoes. I sometimes add garlic before roasting or basil afterwards, but really, there is something so satisfying about the simple version I often leave it basic. Sometimes the sum is greater than the parts. If I only have Parmagiano I use that.
If I have the energy to pick enough for 2 trays, I do 2 pans and freeze one in a quart ziploc bag. A taste of summer come December.
I just remembered a great recipe for sauteed cherry tomatoes in the Flexitarian cookbook that he serves with polenta and sauteed shrimp. I do this when I can't bear to have the oven on high for roasting.