Sweet late-summer tomatoes deserve to be showcased in this recipe for our family’s ultimate roasted tomato meat sauce. Try to make it!
Before adding them to the sauce, roasting the tomatoes brings out more of their natural sweetness and depth of flavor. It adds an incredible depth of flavor and texture to the sauce. Get yourself to a tomato source, whether it be a garden, a farmer’s market, or a supermarket, and gather up a goodly number of them. This weekend, my friends and I will be preparing sauce.
READ THIS FIRST: IMPORTANT COOKBOOK NOTES
Before you begin, please review the following bullet points.
- Any ripe tomatoes will do for this sauce. Use a variety of different tomatoes, such as beefsteak, campari, plum, cherry, grape, etc. Fresh tomatoes from the garden are incomparable.
- The decision to peel the tomatoes is optional. If you want a silky sauce, make an “X” on the bottom, blanch them for 30-60 seconds in boiling water, then shock them in an ice bath.
- Save some of the water from cooking the pasta. It’s what you’ll need to finish mixing everything together. The starch in the water used to cook the pasta will aid in the sauce’s ability to adhere to the pasta and will also lend the pasta a silky consistency.
- This pork sauce tastes better the next day, so make it the day before.
- It’s estimated that 2 pounds of pasta can be served with this sauce. Regularly, we prepare 1 pound of pasta and eat only half of the beef sauce. The remaining roasted tomato meat sauce is divided in half and stored in the freezer for later use.
- 5 pounds of ripe tomatoes
- 1 1/2 pounds of 80% lean, 20% fat ground beef
- 1/2 pound of ground pork
- 6 cloves of minced garlic
- 1 large finely chopped onion
- 1 small can of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups of beef stock or water
- 1/2 cup of dry red wine
- 8 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of sea salt
- 2 teaspoons of dried oregano
- 1 1/2 teaspoons of freshly ground black pepper
- fresh basil
- parmesan cheese
- Turn the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 degrees Celsius). Don’t worry about making the tomato pieces too tiny. Cherry or grape tomatoes can be used whole or cut in half.
- Combine 1 tablespoon of salt, 4 tablespoons of olive oil, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, and 3 minced garlic cloves and toss with the tomatoes. Put them in a single layer on two big, rimmed baking sheets.
- Roast in the center of the oven for 1 hour, stirring twice. The tomatoes are ready when they have wrinkles and a bit of caramelization around the edges.
- Set a large dutch oven or deep pot over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes before the tomatoes are done roasting. Fry the ground meat and pork in 4 tablespoons of olive oil. Mix thoroughly, crumbling the ground meat into little pieces as you go. Meat doesn’t need to be browned or crisped before being cooked through; just make sure it’s opaque.
- The onion and remaining 3 minced garlic cloves should be added. Cook for an additional 5 minutes after seasoning with salt and pepper.
- The tomatoes should be done roasting by now. Throw them in the stew along with their juices. To this, add the sugar, salt, pepper, dried oregano, black pepper, and tomato paste from canned tomatoes. Gently heat while stirring until it begins to boil. Simmer for three hours, covered and on low heat. You should stir it from time to time to keep it from sticking.
- Check the sauce for flavor and make any necessary adjustments (salt, pepper, sugar). (At this point, the sauce might be served over pasta, but we recommend waiting until the next day to enjoy it at its full potential. Put it in the refrigerator to cool down for the night.
- Return the sauce to the stove and warm it up when you’re ready to serve. Prepare pasta (we prefer spaghetti, but any shape would do) in boiling salted water for 1 minute shorter than the time specified on the package. (The sauce’s heat will finish cooking it.) Drain the pasta when it is one minute shy of al dente (again, one minute less than the minimum cooking time on the package directions), retaining approximately half a cup of the pasta water.
- The pasta should be returned to the saucepan almost immediately, and the hot meat sauce should be ladled in, along with about a third of a cup of the pasta cooking water. Allow the pasta to toss for 1 minute so it may soak up some of the sauce and cooking water.
- Garnish the spaghetti with fresh basil, parmesan, a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil, and freshly ground black pepper before serving. Enjoy the roasted tomato meat sauce!