Roasted Tomato Sauce

If you have a few hours to let your tomatoes roast slowly, you'll have one of the easiest and most flavorful sauces imaginable. Roasting at a moderately low temperature really concentrates tomatoes' rich flavor. Be sure to use oval-shaped plum tomatoes (also called Roma or paste). Common round tomatoes have more seeds and juice, so they don't work as well for this method.

2 1/2 lb. plum tomatoes (12 medium), halved lengthwise
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
4 garlic cloves, cut into thin slivers
2 tablespoons olive oil

1. Heat oven to 300ºF. Coat 13x9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, snugly in baking dish. Sprinkle with thyme, sugar, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper. Add garlic to oil in small bowl and stir to coat. Drizzle oil and garlic over tomatoes.

2. Bake 2 to 2 3/4 hours or until tomatoes and garlic are very tender and tomato skins are lightly browned and caramelized. Cool 15 minutes.

3. Pulse tomatoes and any accumulated juices in food processor until sauce is almost smooth with a little texture remaining. (Tomato sauce can be covered and refrigerated for up to 4 days or frozen for up to 6 months.)

5 (1/2-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 90 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 g protein, 10 g carbohydrate, 0 mg cholesterol, 245 mg sodium, 2.5 g fiber

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