Savoring the Season: Roasting and Preserving Paste Tomatoes

Tomatoes are a funny thing.  If you enjoy tomatoes then you are easily lured into growing them.  It can be a rewarding experience, or not.  You will surely learn to share your bounty with Mother Nature and all her friends (BUGS and WORMS).  Last season I was on a kick to preserve my tomato bounty without any regard to the varieties being grown in my garden. What is a “duh” moment now alluded me last season.  Are you ready?  Paste tomato varieties are meaty and flavorful.  More importantly they really stand up to roasting.

Fast forward to this season.  I decide to select a variety of tomatoes that include a small paste tomato called Gilberte and the famous Italian variety San Marzano which is considered to be one of the world’s best sauce tomatoes.  A glass of wine in hand, it is time to jump online and head over to my favorite seed company High-Mowing and order up my first ever tomato seeds. For the first time I have grown my own tomato seedlings and have close to 40 seedlings that need to be transplanted.  This where my husband rolls his eyes…..I am the only one in the family who enjoys tomatoes.  Go figure!

The first harvest is the small and hearty Gilberte paste tomatoes with a couple Tequila Sunrise peppers thrown in for show.

Halved, with fresh garden onions, garlic and a couple of garden peppers.  Seasoned with basil, oregano, sea salt and fresh ground black pepper and then tossed with olive oil.  Roasted in a pan at 450 degrees for about 30-40 minutes.
Yields pure heaven 
Ready to be processed in a blender.  Served hot wth good pasta or put into freezer bags to be enjoyed long after the season is over.  Can you guess which one I did?
My San Marzano tomatoes are just ripening.  I will let you know how they work out.

25 thoughts on “Savoring the Season: Roasting and Preserving Paste Tomatoes

  1. Velva, thanks for stopping in to see me at Florida Farm Girl's World. Your roasted tomatoes look to die for!!! I think I'd coarsely chop them, add a few fresh ones to liven things up a bit, add a few jalapenos and call it salsa. And you know what that calls for, don't you?


  2. Looks good Velva, I've not thought of roasting them prior to putting them up – we'll need to try it. We use paste tomatoes for our preserving as well – no since canning or freezing all that water in slicing tomatoes. You may want to consider our favorite Kada Hybrids, which we use for both canned tomatoes and juice – they are larger than Roma's, clusters of 6-10 tomatoes, very meaty and tasty. Check out the bottom shots in this post –


  3. I love this idea! I think I will try it with store bought Romas as we didn't have a tomato harvest. Hoping next year brings us a good bounty, love roasted tomatoes,.


  4. Fantastic! Thanks for that info, I didn't know which tomatoes made the best sauce. I still might try this with some heirloom tomatoes I have growing out of season at the moment. It's winter where I am although it is still warm during the day. Half the time tomato plants just pop up in my garden!


  5. You go girl! I have always wanted to grow my own tomatoes from seedlings. There are so many wonderful varieties with seeds! My father use to plant specific tomatoes for each kind of sauce he planned on making through the year. Darn, I never learned.Your roasted tomatoes look so awesome, I'm excited for you! I can't wait for mine to begin. I went a bit haywire buying plants this year. We'll see:)Thank you so much for sharing these tips and your gorgeous looking tomatoes, Velva…Now I want a garden picked tomato in hand:)


  6. I freeze my sauce as well…so much easier than canning. I must try your recipe of roasting the tomatoes and onions. My plants are just starting to form a few tiny green tomatoes so I've got a wait before I start making sauce.


  7. that's a great idea!! We go to Costco and always buy little tomatoes. they keep in the refrig longer and I'm growing my big tomatoes in the yard. Will have to make this with videllia onions!!


  8. That bag will be like gold in the middle of winter. I eat tomatoes everyday and sometime they're not very yum, these could save me some trouble.


  9. You give me hope for the San Marzano tomatoes I have planted this year (at my last attempt, it had rained solidly for 3 years in Ireland – or at least felt that way – and the poor plants didn't have a chance). Fingers crossed for lots of sunshine this year! Love the roasted tomato sauce. Even if my tomatoes don't work out, I can buy some and make this!


  10. yum! I am planning to do something similar this year. It is traditional in these parts as well, but usually folks like to make paste; I think making a sauce as you did is a lot smarter!


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