I really wasn’t planning on putting up recipes on this blog, but then, I changed my mind. When you are up to your elbows in tomatoes, it’s always nice to have a new recipe to try out. Here is my absolute favorite tomato recipe. It’s simple, but it requires a few hours in the oven. So, don’t make this in the evening unless you are planning on staying up late! The biggest problem with this recipe is my family wants to eat it before I can put it away for winter. Please enjoy and let me know what you think of it!

BAKED TOMATO PASTE

10 lbs. tomatoes (roma’s work the best, but any kind will do-they just take longer to dry)
coarsely chopped
3-4 WHOLE BULBS of garlic - peeled and smashed
¼ cup fresh thyme – smashed into small pieces.
½ cup Olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Toss this all together in a large bowl.
Spread on cooking sheets and dry it in the oven at 250 degrees for 2-3 hours. The time can vary depending on the water content of your tomatoes.

When dry, douse the mixture with balsamic vinegar or red wine (this is optional, but it adds an extra layer of flavor). Put mixture through a potato ricer (also optional). I prefer it chunky, so I don't do this step.
Store in the refrigerator of up to 2-3 weeks or freeze in containers.

The aroma of this paste baking in your oven will make you salivate, it is incredible!
I use this by itself on pasta, or to add to tomato sauce.

From: Rebecca’s Garden Magazine, August 1999