I was craving something savory and a little more pungent than our usual slow-simmered red wine tomato sauce. This thick sauce made from sun-dried tomatoes seemed to have extra flavor — it must be something about the power of the sun. Harnessed to dry the Roma tomatoes, the tomato flavor is concentrated, so sweet and acidic at the same time, all packed into these little wrinkly red slivers of summer.
The flavor of the sauce is strong, so timid tomato lovers beware. Best pared with more savory items, like meatballs and aged Parmesan, this sauce is just enough to punch up your typical spaghetti night without straying too far from the original. I made a batch of simple chicken meatballs with dried basil and roasted a spaghetti squash to accompany the sauce, and I’m hoping to get in some more use from the sauce with a roasted vegetable soup or even a sausage-and-egg casserole bake. With something as classic as a tomato sauce, there are many ways to, like the sun, harness its power to your own benefit.
Sun-dried Tomato Sauce
3.5 oz. dry-packed sundried tomatoes
2 c. hot water
1/2 c. extra virgin olive oil
2-3 Tbsp. dried basil
5 roasted garlic cloves
2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
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dash of fish sauce
Soak the tomatoes in the hot water until soft, about 20-30 minutes. Dump the whole thing into a food processor or a high-speed mixer and pulse until combined. Add spices, fish sauce and vinegar, pulse to combine. On a low setting, gradually drizzle in olive oil until the sauce is emulsified.
Eat cold as a dip or spread, or simmer over low heat and pour over spaghetti squash and meatballs.