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Roasted Tomato and Leek Sauce

Salsa di Pomodoro e Porro Arrostito

Makes 1 1/2 Cups smooth or 2 1/4 cups chunky

I often surprise myself by taking little detours with cooking techniques and traditions. Such is the case with this roasted no-fat tomato-and-leek sauce. The sauce can be smooth or chunky and dress fresh, filled, or plain pasta.

A favorite combination with the smooth version of this sauce is spaghetti with sugar snap peas and Sardinian feta cheese. Use the chunky version with rigatoni or with orecchiette.


1 1/2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, washed, cored, and left whole

1 large leek (6 ounces), white part only, cut lengthwise, washed well, and cut into quarters

1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt

2 teaspoons dried oregano

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Place the whole tomatoes and the leek (cut side down) on a nonstick baking sheet. Roast the vegetables until the tomatoes are soft to the touch and the leek has begun to brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and process until a thick, chunky sauce is obtained.

To make a smooth sauce, transfer the pureed vegetables to a fine mesh colander placed over a bowl. Press on the ingredients with a wooden spoon to squeeze the sauce through the colander. Discard the solids.

Transfer the sauce to a large nonreactive bowl and stir in the salt, oregano, vinegar, and sugar. The sauce is ready to use, or freeze for future use.

This recipe is from MANGIA PASTA by Mary Ann Esposito, published by William Morrow and Company, Inc. in 1998.


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