Ok, there was really no need to put “Paleo” in the title other than to help boost my SEO because really, any homemade sauce by definition will most likely be Paleo. Unless of course, you put something weird in it like cheese-covered bugs and in that case the bugs would probably help your cause while the rest of the Paleo nutsos would vilify you for cheese (suck it, people, you’ll get my cheese when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers, ahem).
I failed so miserably at tomatoes last year and I don’t really know why. I used organic everything – from the soil to the plant to the plant food. I watered them and loved them and coaxed them to turn red but by last October, none of them had ripened. After the first frost, they were useless. This year, I didn’t even have the heart to try so I’ve been bumming whatever extras people had around here. Apparently, tomatoes like the heat (as long as they have water) because holy moly, I’ve been getting a ton from friends and family! And though Charlotte and I eat them like apples with a little sea salt (God, I love that kid), I just had too many – and many different varieties – to keep up with.
So I figured I’d make a mish mosh marinara with all the odds and ends of the tomato world I had collected. I had big round sweet cherry tomatoes, romas, and some weird greenish black kind from my neighbor that was delicious, albeit unnamed. All in all, it was about 50 small-medium tomatoes I used in this recipe and it only yielded around 3-4 cups of marinara so keep that in mind if you think it looks like a lot at first.
Also, I’ve made a ton of chunky homemade sauces but I usually use the canned tomatoes as this saves you the steps of peeling and seeding the tomatoes – which is an essential step because of the acidic taste of both. But with this marinara, I used my food mill. Its a relatively cheap old school looking thing that if you don’t have, you should. Mainly because my next adventure is Paleo Sweet Potato Gnocchi and you’ll need one for that, MMMKAY!?
We use this one and it cleans easy and, like I said, is fairly cheap.
This is a time consuming recipe in the sense that the time roasting and simmering is long but this is to bring out some amazing flavors. It doesn’t take much prep time at all so would be good for an afternoon when you plan to be around and can check on things here and there.
I first sliced all the tomatoes and laid them flat-side up in roasting dishes. I then drizzled these with olive oil, and sprinkled with a few turns of sea salt and black pepper. Then I took around 5-8 fresh basil leaves and diced these finely, tore the leaves off a small sprig of rosemary, and 1 tsp. dried oregan0 and sprinkled all that on top of the tomatoes.
Then I took both dishes and placed them in the oven:
Then I roasted these babies at 275 for 3 hours and I absolutely love how amazing they looked. Now, keep in mind everyone’s oven is different. If you think yours are burning, take them out.
While you take these out and let them cool down a bit, I took a medium sweet onion (about 1-2 c.) diced and added to a large saucepan with 2 tbsp olive oil on low. I then tossed in the garlic and spices and let it sweat till the onions were transparent. Then I tossed in the roasted tomatoes, added a little red wine, a touch of honey, covered and simmered for a couple more hours.
Warning: at this point your house will smell so good you’ll want to eat absolutely everything nearby. Have healthy snacks on hand.
After two hours or so, turn off heat and let cool (I mean, you COULD do it hot like I did, but it’s an easy way to burn yourself) and then run EVERYTHING through the food mill. And there you have it!!
Recipe: Homemade Paleo Marinara
- 50 small-medium tomatoes, Roma preferably but like I mentioned, I used a bunch of different ones.
- High-quality olive oil
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tsp fresh chopped basil
- small sprig of rosemary
- salt and pepper
For the Sauce
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2-2 cups sweet white onion
- 2 tbsp. fresh garlic
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 tbsp. basil
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 c. dry red wine (I used Cabernet)
- 1 tsp. honey
- Slice the tomatoes and place flat side up in baking dishes.
- Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and rosemary.
- Bake at 275 for 2.5-3 hours. Check around 2 hours to make sure cooking slow and well.
- Remove from oven and set aside.
- In a saucepan on medium, add remaining ingredients and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are translucent.
- Add in the roasted tomatoes, cover, and simmer for 2 hours.
- Let cool and then run the entire contents through the food mill.
- Add any additional salt and/or honey as needed to your taste.