I just got off the phone, I am video chatting with friends a LOT these days. I find it therapeutic, just calling, seeing friends and colleagues and checking in with people to make sure they are healthy and safe while we all continue to shelter in place. Dottie is a friend and a fellow baker and between the two of us, we smugly know that nobody within a 50 mile radius needs a much flour, sugar and eggs as we do.
Between working full time, trying to get some PT and teaching my grandkids some on-line classes, I have to say, I’m pretty busy.
Still, I have time like I never seem to have before. A great deal of that is location dependent. I can leave my home office to make and have lunch, start something in the kitchen and go back to work, all within a few steps of each other.
To that end, my partner was asking, very nicely I might add, if this might not be a good time to stock up on what he believes is absolutely essential to our very lives, a.k.a. my Red Gold pasta sauce. The sauce is as valuable as gold to my partner and it’s red so hence the name, Red Gold.
There are no short cuts to this recipe, it literally takes all day but the results are well worth it. It’s frugal, as pasta sauces go, makes about 16 cups; worth. Once you prep and prepare, you can set it and forget it. As part of staying home and hunkering down, all you need do is stir and taste and keep it on simmer in your slow cooker.
Slow Cooker Red Gold
8 ripe medium Roma tomatoes
2 large cans San Marzano tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste, any type will do
2 large onions, finely diced, any type will do
1 bulb garlic, minced finely
4-5 large springs of fresh rosemary
5 bay leaves
Giant splash good red wine, about 1/3 cup
1 tablespoon each: garlic powder, pepper, salt, sugar, oregano, onion powder and Italian seasoning
Method: Preheat the oven to 350-F. While the oven is heating up, slice the Roma tomatoes in half lengthwise. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and bake the tomatoes for one hour in the hot oven. Meanwhile, cook the onion and garlic top side in a frying pan on low heat until brown and softened, taking care not to burn the garlic. Set aside. Fill your slow cooker with the canned tomatoes and spices. Add one cup of water using the large tomato can as measure. Stir and add in the cooked onion and garlic. When cooked, add the Roma tomatoes straight from the oven. Finish with the splash of good red wine and lay the rosemary on top carefully. Don’t worry, it will sink. Nestle the bay leaves in the liquid right under the surface and cook on low for at least eight hours stirring and checking the seasonings occasionally. When done, cool and blend until smooth in the blender in small batches. Freezes very well.