Roasted Tomato Spread Recipe (with a nod to Lynne Rossetto Kasper & Marcella Hazan)

This is a great, easy recipe to achieve some summer love in your winter kitchen.  Take some canned, whole Italian style tomatoes (cheap and readily available) and taste them raw.  Then throw them on a tray, add some herbs and onion and butter, and roast them slowly for a couple hours or more.  Once they smell irresistible – as does your house – they are ready to eat!  It’s almost like you just picked a great-tasting tomato off the vine.  Spread it on crostini and top it with a basil leaf; thin it out with a bit of Italian red wine and toss it with pasta; can it and gift it or bag it and freeze it… This humble roasted tomato spread is bound to please.

(A big thanks to those that saw me demonstrate this recipe at the Home & Garden Show last Friday- fun to bring these great smells to the Minneapolis Convention Center!)

Roasted Tomato Spread Recipe (with a nod to Lynne Rossetto Kasper & Marcella Hazan)
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Italian
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 20
Great ingredients, a little technique and some creativity are the keys to a great tasting dish. Put on your apron and get your creative juices flowing with canned tomatoes and a hot oven!
  • 3 x 28 oz whole peeled Italian-style tomatoes, low salt if available
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 bunch fresh basil, leaves removed and torn
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 medium red onion, quartered
  • 1 head garlic (10 cloves), peeled
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil, balsamic vinegar, kosher salt, freshly ground pepper (to taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Spread the canned tomatoes evenly on two half-sheet pans. Distribute and spread the butter through garlic evenly amongst the two pans. Place on two different racks in the oven (and on different sides of each rack) so the heat may evenly distribute.
  3. Bake for 2 to 2 ½ hours, checking on the progress every 30-40 minutes (I like to give the tomatoes a turn and coat with a bit of olive oil if they are looking dried out). When the butter begins to separate a bit and the tomatoes are lovely and a bit darker in color, when the smell is irresistible, and before the garlic burns- they are done!
  4. Allow to come to room temperature and serve on crostini or toss with pasta.



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