If you would have told me a month ago I would be getting fresh tomatoes I probably would have laughed at you because this has been a horrible tomato year for me. It started with 11 tomato plants (10 of them in raised beds and 1 little guy in a container on my back patio). Thanks to a cool and wet summer and the fungus it brought I ended up having to rip out three of the tomato plants and the rest received a massive haircut to remove infected branches. I was also swearing I was going to end up ripping them all out. However, it seems like nightly I am walking outside with a large bowl and filling it up with tomatoes. So thank you thank you thank you sun and warm weather for finally coming and saving my remaining tomato plants and making them extra delicious this year.
One of my favorite things to do with tomatoes is experiment with sauces especially if it involves blasting the poor tomatoes under a high broiler while standing by the stove perfecting my evil laugh as the tomatoes blacken and shrivel. I also have a strong hatred of measurements in sauce making and usually rely on the good old method of I have a cutting board full of cut herbs and well the sauce needs more thyme so toss that in.
Since almost everything came from the garden or the farmer’s market I have submitted this to Andrea Meyer’s awesome event called Grow Your Own (click here to read more information).
For this recipe you will need:
- 1 lb hot Italian sausage
- 1 onion
- 1 green pepper
- 3 cloves of garlic
- Couple pounds of tomatoes (I used black krim, roma, and some other variety I planted that I have no flipping clue what they are but they are big, ugly, and red).
- 1 cup of red wine (I used chianti)
- Heavy pinch of fresh thyme
- Heavy pinch of fresh rosemary
- Heavy pinch of fresh oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- Heavy pinch of crushed red pepper
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Penne pasta cooked to ale dente with some of the cooking liquid reserved
Roasting the tomatoes:
- Slice the top off the tomatoes and make an X in the bottom of that tomato
- Stand them up cut side down in a baking dish
- Cover with extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper
- I also threw the garlic still in paper into the glass dish so that could get roasted with the tomatoes
- Throw under hot broiler until blackened and soft (about 5-10 minutes)
- Remove from the broiler, peel the tomatoes and garlic, and squish everything together.
Assembling the rest of the pasta:
- Over medium heat in a large sauce pot add in a squirt of oil and cook the sausage till browned.
- Remove the sausage and add in the onion and pepper and cook till softened (about 5 minutes) with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add the wine into the pot and reduce by 1/2.
- Add the sausage, roasted tomato mixture, and herbs into the sauce pot and cook for a good 15-20 minutes. Make sure you taste occasionally to make sure you like the flavors.
- When you are happy with the sauce toss in the penne and stir around until combined. If the mixture is to thick add in a dash of the cooking liquid to thin it out. Personally I love a good a thick sauce so I rarely add in any of the cooking liquid.
- Serve and enjoy with cheese and basil!