Rustic Tomato-Pepper Sauce
Did your garden explode this year? Ours sure did. We’re a two-person household and it is hard to use up everything we plant. We love fresh tomatoes but a single plant can produce a massive harvest. Don’t even get me started on the chili peppers. We grow a huge variety every year for fun, for experimentation, for taste, for cooking – why NOT grow a lot of peppers? If you find yourself with a huge harvest like we do pretty much every year, think about incorporating them into a basic sauce that you can freeze.
Making tomato-pepper sauce is a smart way to preserve your peppers and tomatoes through the year. I always have a number of containers in the freezer with peppers and other ingredients. You can incorporate them into quick meals as needed, and they taste as fresh as the day they were picked.
This particular sauce is seasoned with some of our preferred ingredients, though you can easily vary it to your own preference. Use this for pastas, but also in so many other dishes, like soups, stews, any type of crockpot or slow cooker meal. I like it for split pea soup!
Here are some of the peppers we used. Aren’t they pretty?
You can use a variety of peppers from the garden, whatever you grow. If you’re incorporating superhots, though, or anything on the upper range like habanero peppers, be careful. A little bit goes a long way.
- 5 large red chili peppers I used a variety from the garden, including the paprika peppers above
- 5 large tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic unpeeled
- ½ teaspoon toasted cumin seeds ground
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 teaspoons minced parsley
- Salt and pepper to taste
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
Slice the tomatoes and peppers in half lengthwise and set them into baking sheets. Add unpeeled garlic to the sheets as well.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until all is cooked through and the skins have all loosened.
Remove from heat, cool slightly, and peel. Discard the skins.
Rough chop the tomato, peppers and garlic, then set into a large saucepan and heat to medium.
Add cumin, oregano, parsley and salt/pepper. Stir.
Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.
If you’d like a smoother sauce, you can process the sauce in a food processor before setting into the saucepan.