Roasted Tomato Passata


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This passata is a rustic tomato sauce that exudes fresh Roma tomatoes, shallots and sweet basil. Serve it warm over pan-seared chicken or cold tossed with summer pasta. Not only is it a cinch to whip up, it also freezes well for a quick weeknight meal. Get creative, this is a staple.

My new cookbook
My new cookbook

I learned about this cook book on Instagram from Helene Dujardin. She is one of my favorite food photographers (I do not know many, but she is top notch). Helene mentioned that she photographed all the food in this cookbook. On top of this, Cooking Light is my favorite food magazine and website.

The primary reason why this book is special to me is because I asked for it for my birthday, which was last Saturday. My Grandma, who was in a rehab center recovering from brain surgery, asked my mom to buy me a gift from her. So, mom bought me this cookbook from Grandma on Sunday. That Monday my Grandma died in her sleep. My heart is saddened and I will always cherish this last gift from her.

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The Mad Delicious cookbook offers cooks an explanation of the recipe and why certain ingredients and cooking techniques are used. Each chapter is divided into certain cooking methods (like knife skills, sauces, steaming and grilling) with instructions that teach the home cook how to be a chef in their own kitchen.

My brother, who is a chef, talked about Mise en Place when he was about to cook. I kept joking and changing the words like, “Did you say Missing Place? What’s Missing Place?” Well anyways, a few days later I opened to the first chapter of Mad Delicious and wasn’t it about Mise en Place?! Basically this is the state of gathering your ingredients, clearing your prep space and getting your head ready for cooking. Get organized. Cooking should be enjoyable, not stressful.

Fresh Roma Tomatoes
Fresh Roma Tomatoes

This passata was one of the first recipes introduced in this book. Keith Schroeder, the author, describes it as a basic sauce that all chefs keep in their back pocket. I, of course, changed it a bit, but used the bones of the recipe to understand the process.

Ingredients

8 roma tomatoes, cut in half

3 shallots, cut into coins

olive oil

1/2 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper

6-7 fresh basil leaves

Serves: 2

Instructions

Toss with oil, salt and pepper
Toss with oil, salt and pepper
  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees
  • Set out a medium bowl
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and put in bowl
  • Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper
Cut side down
Cut side down
  • Prepare a baking sheet pan covered in tin foil
  • Place tomatoes cut side down
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, until soft
  • Set aside to cool, 10 minutes
Caramelize Shallots
Caramelize Shallots
  • Heat olive oil in a pan on medium heat
  • Add the shallots
  • Season with salt, pepper and sugar
  • Caramelize until softened
  • Set aside to cool, 10 minutes

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Once cool:

  • Put tomatoes and shallots in food processor or blender
  • Blend until smooth
  • Add basil leaves and blend again
  • Keep in the refrigerator or freezer until ready to serve

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Author: A Common Connoisseur

My name is Maria! I'm a vibrant Italian American with a zest for life. I am also a major glutton. Join me on my journey to diverse restaurants and in my kitchen, as I eat and cook my way through flavory fare. I am no expert, which is why I am merely a Common Connoisseur.

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