05 January 2011

How Many Tomatoes Does It Take? or Home-Roasted Tomatoes

We all have our favorite standby meal for entertaining.  Mine is pasta- spaghetti, macaroni, what have you.  So, when Mr. Yeater took a day trip to Petoskey, and I invited a couple of friends to bear me company, I knew what to prepare for supper.  The only trouble was that I would be making
homemade tomato sauce and had no idea how many pounds to get for three people.  Silly me, I did not even think to "Google" it.  I bought two pounds.

I will not say that two pounds for three people is not sufficient.  It may have been if I had prepared only one serving of pasta per person.  Not I!  Not for my poor, skinny friends in need of carbohydrates.  I made two servings per person.  The tomatoes (roasted and seasoned with onions, garlic, and other herbs) were like little treasures hidden in the noodles.  The girls liked it pretty well, but I maintain that it would have been better to be able to bury the noodles in tomatoes.  I need at least one pound per person.  I will be testing my theory with Mr. Yeater tonight.  We bought about two to two and a half pounds of Roma tomatoes this week so that I could make more tomato "sauce".  

To make the tomato sauce, I first like to roast my tomatoes.  I will be using:

     Large turkey roasting pan


     Medium mixing bowl (for coating tomatoes)
     Small mixing bowl (for organic waste)
     Cutting board
     Chef's knife

     Various Herbs
     Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
     and... Roma Tomatoes!!!  I like Romas because they are not as watery and so are less likely to overflow the pan with moisture.  Plus, the flavor is delicious!

With the Chef's knife, I "behead" the tomatoes, tossing the tops into the yellow (smaller) bowl.

If I still had my garden, I would compost these, but they will be going into the garbage disposal.

Then, I halve them.  Poor tomatoes!

It may not keep the POINTs low, but I love olive oil and use it generously.  Drizzle (Pour) the olive oil into the roasting pan and spread it out with a spatula- or hands, if that would be more fun.

Then, in my green bowl (the medium mixing bowl), I pour even more olive oil, about a half to a full cup.

Put all the spices, herbs, what have you, in the bowl with the oil and mix it.  After that, I put two tomato halves in the mixture and coat the top and bottom.

I generally prefer fresh herbs, but there you are...
And line them up, nice and tidy.  They need some room between them, but not a lot.

For a quick roast, I set the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and the timer to 2:00 hours.

Mmmm... the apartment smells wonderful!

Now, we have a choice to make:  Leave the skins or remove them?  They should be bubbly and crisp at the edges and can be easily, if messily, removed with a paring knife and fingers.  Careful, though.  The flesh and the pan are HOT!

With the paring knife, score the flesh, and remove the tomatoes.

Next step:  Boil water.  Measure out pasta into boiling pot.  Let boil until pasta is al dente.  Strain and pour back into pot.  Stir in just a little olive oil until each noodle is lightly coated.  Warm tomatoes if necessary.  Serve.  Enjoy.

Mr. Yeater and I settled into our respective places on the couch with our plates full of pasta and our glasses full of my new favorite beer, and we watched a funny movie.  There was just enough sauce for the two of us with a little leftover for another helping.  I would love to show you how mouth-watering was the meal, but I am afraid that it smelled so wonderfully, and Mr. Yeater was sniffing around the kitchen far too frequently, that I forgot to take a photograph.  I will endeavor to remember on the next occasion which I make it to take a picture to share.  And now I know that it takes about one pound of tomatoes per person.

Do you have a favorite standby meal?

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