Tomato

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Baked Tomato Sauce

This is a rather modified version of the one presented on Alton Brown's Good Eats program on the Food Network. Baking the tomatoes first gives the sauce a very rich flavor and allows some of the sugars to caramelize nicely.

Unlike the Alton Brown version, I use a variety of tomatoes from my garden, and I don't remove the seeds. Saying that cooking the seeds will cause the sauce to be bitter is an old myth that they obviously never bothered to test out. The fact is that the juicey goo that surrounds the seeds is one of the most flavorful parts of the tomato.

As for the varieties of tomatoes, I grow several types of heirloom paste tomatoes as well as regular heirlooms and cherry tomatoes. Whatever I pick goes into the batch whether red, yellow, pink or black; paste, beefsteak or cherry they all go in.

If I'm using cherry tomatoes, they go in the gaps between beefsteaks or if I have a lot of them, they get a pan of their own that goes in the oven an hour after the larger tomatoes have started baking.

I also went with dry herbs because it is a waste to use fresh unless you are overloaded with them. In fact, I think that the dry herbs make for a better flavor given the extended cooking time.

And lastly, I cut the wine from the recipe. Adding the wine did not release any special tomato flavors, it just gave the sauce an overpowering flavor of alcohol. If you like your tomato sauce to taste like booze, go for it. Personally, I lke the tomato flavor.

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