Cook to Cook: Surprisingly, I've found certain domestic canned tomatoes taste richer than most Italian imports. Yes, the San Marzano tomato is legendary, but it's nearly impossible to find any good-tasting ones in a can in America. Trust me, it's true. I use whole peeled tomatoes (not necessarily plum types) from the organic producer Muir Glen, or Hunt's, Contadina, or Red Pack (take care not to get their tomatoes packed in puree; you want only tomato juice).
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread out the tomatoes in a large shallow pan (a half-sheet pan is ideal) and sprinkle with the other ingredients, turning to coat them with oil. Bake 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours, basting and turning the tomatoes several times. They're done when their color deepens to dark scarlet and they taste mellow and very rich. Don't let them brown, nor allow the garlic to brown, it'll turn bitter.
Transfer the tomatoes and their oil to a glass or china bowl. Let them mellow at room temperature up to 6 hours. The flavors will ripen in this time.
Refrigerate the tomatoes up to 4 days, or freeze up to 3 months. Serve the tomatoes at room temperature, or tossed with hot pasta.
Each week, The Splendid Table brings you stories that expand your world view, inspire you to try something new, and show how food brings us together. We rely on you to do this. You have the power to keep us cooking, sharing these stories, and helping you in the kitchen.
Donate today for as little as $5.00 a month. Your gift only takes a few minutes and has a lasting impact on The Splendid Table.
From The Italian Country Table: Home Cooking from Italy's Farmhouse Kitchens by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.
Lynne Rossetto Kasper has won numerous awards as host of The Splendid Table, including two James Beard Foundation Awards (1998, 2008) for Best National Radio Show on Food, five Clarion Awards (2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2014) from Women in Communication, and a Gracie Allen Award in 2000 for Best Syndicated Talk Show.