Oven-Roasted Canned Tomatoes
Amazing things happen to canned tomatoes when you roast them with olive oil, garlic, and herbs. Imagine little scarlet medallions of tomato flecked with herbs, tasting almost brazenly meaty and sweet. Make these tomatoes when fresh ones are out of season. No fresh Roma tomato can touch them. Eat the roasted tomatoes on their own, on bread, bruschetta, with salads, beans, polenta, and risotto, or toss them with pasta.
2 (28-ounce) cans peeled whole tomatoes, drained, halved and seeded
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
14 large fresh basil leaves, torn
2 (4-inch) branches fresh rosemary
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice
5 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 300°F (150°C). Spread out the tomatoes in a large, shallow pan (a half sheet pan is ideal) and sprinkle with the other ingredients, turning to coat them with oil. Bake 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the tomatoes several times. They're done when their color deepens to dark scarlet and they taste mellow and very rich. Don't let them brown nor allow the garlic to brown-it will taste bitter.
- Transfer the tomatoes and their oil to a glass or china bowl. Let them mellow at room temperature up to 6 hours. The flavors will ripen with time.
- Refrigerate the tomatoes up to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Serve the tomatoes at room temperature or tossed with hot pasta.
Makes 16 to 32 pieces, serving 4 to 8.