This is the very best recipe you can make with tomatoes, objectively speaking. It elevates a tomato to its sweetest, richest form and preserves it for the darkest and coldest days ahead.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

(makes approx 1 quart; I recommend making double or quadruple batches)

Prep time: Twenty minutes; Cooking time: One hour; Clean up time: you don’t want to know.

INGREDIENTS

4-5 pounds tomatoes

½ onion, sliced

2-4 whole cloves garlic

1 teaspoon salt

4 tbsp fresh herbs or 1 tbsp dried herbs

¼ cup coconut oil, lard or high-quality olive oil.

Additional vegetables, as desired

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the tomatoes in half and place cut side down on cookie sheet in a single layer. Toss onions, garlic, salt, and herbs on top of tomatoes and drizzle with oil. Or, if you have enough for multiple batches, roast tomatoes and onions in separate cookie sheets. Roast for one hour or until the tomatoes shrivel and collapse and their juices start pooling in the bottom of the baking dish. Process the mixture with a blender or food processor until smooth. If you want to remove the skins and seeds (which is unnecessary, though it makes for a prettier, smoother sauce), run the sauce through a food mill.

Notes: Because of the oil, this recipe can’t be water-bath canned. It can be pressure canned, and freezes very well. I usually roast 2 trays of tomatoes, 1 tray of onions, and then steam broccoli or kale, mince the vegetables, and add in after everything else is cooked.