Katherine's Roasted Tomato Sauce

We’ve published a few variations on tomato sauce in the past, but this is hands down the best way to make this iconic sauce.  The secret is in roasting with the lid off, which allows the top layer to brown.

About 10# tomatoes, any type (heirloom, roma, beefsteak)
1-2 bunches basil, leaves only and left whole
1 head garlic
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch oregano
1-2 hot chilis or 1-2 tablespoon hot red chili flakes, depending on your heat tolerance
2 glugs extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste

  1. Roughly chop tomatoes, skins on (this is where a lot of their nutrition resides!), cores removed, and add to your largest sauce pot, at least 2 gallon capacity.

  2. Toss in basil leaves.  Peel and chop garlic into slices or rough pieces.  We like large, visible garlic chunks, but if you want to mellow out the garlic flavor, chop it more finely.  Add to pot.  Strip thyme and oregano leaves from stems and add to pot whole.  Finely chop chili and add to pot, or sprinkle in chili flakes.

  3. Pour olive oil over all ingredients, then sprinkle on salt and stir with a large wooden spoon.

  4. Place in a cold oven turned to 400F.  Roast uncovered for up to 4 hours, stirring periodically.  Stir after the first hour when it starts boiling, then don’t stir again until the top layer has browned a little bit.  Stir this in, brown the new top layer, and repeat until you’ve reached your desired consistency and moisture.  The more juicy your tomatoes, the longer you will roast for a thicker sauce.

Tomato and Cheese Tart

Make your favorite tart crust, or follow this recipe:

1 ¼ cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
½ teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons frozen or cold butter, cut into chunks
1 egg yolk
3 tablespoons ice water, plus more if necessary

  1. Combine flour and salt in a food processor and pulse once or twice.  Add butter all at once; process until the mixture is uniform, about 10 seconds.  Add the egg and process for another few seconds.
  2. Put the mixture in a bowl and add ice water; mix with your hands until you can form the dough into a ball, adding another tablespoon or two of ice water if necessary.  Form into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and freeze for 10 minutes or refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
  3. Sprinkle a countertop with flour and put the dough on it; sprinkle the top with a little flour.  Roll with light pressure from the center out, until it’s about 2” wider than the diameter of your pie plate.
  4. Move the dough to your pie plate by folding it into quarters and gently placing it in the plate, then unfold and press.  Use a knife to cut the ragged edges, then decorate the edge as you wish.  Refrigerate for about an hour before filling, or freeze for a half hour.

For the tart:
2 large tomatoes, about 1 ½ pounds
1 tablespoon chopped fresh herbs like basil, cilantro, sage, thyme or oregano
¾ cup goat cheese
¾ cup grated cheese of your choosing
¾ cup heavy cream
1 egg

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.  Slice the tomatoes into rounds and trim off the stem scar.
  2. Mix the goat cheese with the grated cheese, cream and egg.
  3. Put some cheese mixture into the bottom of your prepared tart crust.  Layer tomato slices on top.  Add another cheese layer, then finish with more tomatoes.  Sprinkle with extra grated cheese if desired. 
  4. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese is slightly browned on top.  Remove from oven and cool on a rack for a few minutes.  Slice and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tomato and Rice Soup

A Moose Meadow Farm original

1/4 cup olive oil
1# onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of dried thyme and dried oregano or marjoram
2 cups chopped fresh or 1/2 cup chopped dried mushrooms (we use dried morels - thanks Laura!)
2 cups uncooked brown rice
1 quart canned or about 3# frozen whole tomatoes
About 1/2 gallon water or stock
4 cups roughly chopped greens, like radish or turnip greens, kale, chard or bok choi

1.  In a large soup pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the onion, garlic and herbs.  If using fresh mushrooms, add them here.  Saute until the onions start releasing their liquid, about 5 minutes.
2.  Add the rice and the dried mushrooms if using dried, and stir to coat in oil.  
3.  Add the tomatoes and broth or water, cover and bring to a gentle boil.  Turn heat down to medium and simmer until the rice is cooked.  
4.  Stir in greens just before the rice is done.  Serve hot with crusty bread or homemade croutons!


This recipe comes from Mark Bittman.  It is good enough to be served as a side dish, or it is delightful as a sauce for pasta or potatoes.  It couldn’t be any easier!  Serves 4.

1 yellow or purple onion, halved and sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
4-6 colored sweet peppers, halved, seeded, and sliced
1 cup chopped fresh tomatoes with seeds and juices
2 sprigs fresh basil, leaves only
Salt to taste

  1. Saute onion in olive oil in a wide, deep skillet until soft.  Add peppers and cook until wilted.  Add tomatoes and basil leaves.
  2. Bring to a boil, then simmer until thick, about 15 minutes. 
  3. Remove from heat and serve.

Moose Meadow Farm Chili

This recipe is a Moose Meadow Farm original.  Add ground beef if you like a richer chili.

2 cups dry red kidney beans, soaked overnight (or about 5 cups cooked)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 cloves garlic, smashed and roughly chopped

2 medium onions, diced

4-5 colored sweet peppers, cored and chopped

2 lbs tomatoes of any variety, cored and roughly chopped

1 fresh jalapeno or cayenne pepper, or dried chiles to taste

Salt to taste

Cilantro and yogurt or sour cream for garnish


1.     Cook the beans if using dried.  Drain the soaking water, add fresh water to cover by several inches, and turn onto high heat with the lid on until the water starts to boil.  Turn heat to medium-low and continue to cook with the lid cocked until beans are almost tender, about 1 hour.

2.     Meanwhile, sauté the garlic, onions, peppers and chiles in olive oil over medium heat until the onion is translucent.  Salt to taste.

3.     If using cooked beans, at this stage drain them and add them to a large soup pot with a little fresh water, then add the sauté mixture.  Add the sauté mixture to your cooking beans if using dried.

4.     Add all the chopped tomatoes and stir.  Taste and adjust seasoning.  Continue to cook until the beans are fully tender and the tomatoes have dissolved into the beans, 20-30 minutes more.  Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro and yogurt or sour cream and serve.

Tomato Jam/Chutney, or the Best Ketchup Replacement Ever

Katherine has been waiting all summer to share this recipe with you!  It is her favorite thing to make with tomatoes.

4# red slicing tomatoes

2 cups sugar

1 tablespoon salt

2 large knobs ginger, roughly chopped

juice of 2 whole limes

2 whole cinnamon sticks

1 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon ground or whole cumin

1 teaspoon ground or whole coriander

1 whole jalapeno, finely chopped


1.     Roughly chop the tomatoes.  Add to your biggest, widest sauce pan.  Turn the heat on medium high.

2.     Add all of the remaining ingredients on top of the tomatoes, stir carefully then bring to a boil.

3.     Turn heat down so the mixture simmers enthusiastically.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until it has thickened to a jam-like consistency.  This may take 2-4 hours, but the heating process can be stopped and restarted if needed.

4.     Once the mixture is thick enough to spread, you may either freeze it in quart sized ziplock bags, or store it in a sealed container in your fridge where it will keep for a few weeks or more.

5.     Use as a pizza topping, on crostini, pasta sauce, sauce for grilled vegetables, or anywhere you might use ketchup and want to impress your guests!

Easy Sun Dried Tomatoes

Follow this method if you do not have a food dehydrator.  If you want to safely store dried tomatoes long term, you should probably use a dehydrator. 

3-4 pints cherry tomatoes

Large baking tray

Highly porous cloth like nylons or window screening


Very warm, sunny location

1.     Chop all the cherry tomatoes in half and place on baking tray with cut side up.

2.     When tray is full, place in a sunny location like a sun room or south facing window.  We use our prop house as it keeps the dew off.

3.     Cover the tray with porous fabric to keep flies and yellow jackets off.  We use an agricultural fabric called Proteknet that we also use in our fields!

4.     Place an oscillating fan directly over the trays, so it blows over them.  Depending on temperatures and ambient humidity, the tomatoes should be dry enough to use within 3-4 days.

Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce with Garlic and Basil

This recipe is adapted from

Makes about 2 cups (double or triple the recipe and freeze some!)

Olive oil

2 pounds fresh tomatoes

8 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

6 sprigs fresh basil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1.     Heat oven to 350 and lightly grease a 9x13 inch baking dish with olive oil.

2.     Chop the tomatoes roughly but evenly.  Spread them in the baking dish.  Stir in the garlic, drizzle on olive oil to taste, and about 1 teaspoon salt and pepper.  Cut the butter into small cubes and scatter evenly over the tomatoes.

3.     Bake the tomatoes for up to 3 hours.  You can bake them until the tomatoes begin to break down and release juices, or you can continue to bake them until their edges blacken and the juices are reduced significantly.  ALTERNATIVELY: grill or broil the tomatoes until they are black in places and have released some juices. 

4.     Use immediately, or cool and store for up to a week in the fridge.

How to Freeze Tomatoes Whole

This method comes from, a trusted source for simple recipes and kitchen tips.  No work and buys you time to process or use later in the fall or winter!

1.     Wash, dry and core whole tomatoes.  Ripe, medium to large tomatoes are the best for freezing.

2.     Clear space in your freezer where the tomatoes can sit flat while they freeze.  Fill a zip-top freezer bag or other freezer safe container with tomatoes, without squishing them together.  Place the container flat in the freezer.

3.     Once frozen, tomatoes can be stored for up to six months as long as they are in airtight containers.  Thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, at which point the skins will peel off with ease! 

4.     Frozen tomatoes can be grated for instant pasta sauce or thawed completely, chopped, and added to soups, stews, sauces etc.  They will not be enjoyable raw after freezing.


This has been Katherine's favorite recipe to cook for guests ever since she read it in the New York Times Dining section in 2008.

2 Tablespoons olive oil

1 Tablespoon minced garlic

1 Tablespoon fennel seeds

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper

3 cups white beans cooked with thyme, salt and fennel seeds

1 14oz can diced tomatoes, or fresh if you have them

1/2 lb spinach or kale

3 cups freshly toasted croutons (see method below)

1.  Heat oil in large, deep skillet.  Add garlic and spices.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

2.  Add beans and about 1/2 cup bean cooking liquid.  Stir and simmer over medium heat for 2-3 minutes, then add tomatoes.  Simmer another 2-3 minutes.

3.  Add spinach/kale and stir until wilted.

4.  Add croutons and mix in thoroughly so they don't get too soggy. 

5.  Serve hot with extra bread crumbs sprinkled on top.


Preheat oven to 350.  Chop day old or older crusty bread into cubes about 1" square.  Lay in a single layer on a baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and put in the oven.  Bake 15-20 minutes, stirring once, until brown and toasted on at least one side.  No need to cool before adding to recipe.

Ribollita, hot on the stove.

Ribollita, hot on the stove.

Pungent Arugula Pasta

1/4 cup olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 serrano or jalapeno chile sliced thin

2 Tablespoons drained capers or chopped olives

1 pound linguine

8 large plum tomatoes or 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes

4 oz fresh arugula

Salt and pepper

1 cup grated romano cheese

1.  Heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic, chile and capers/olives.  Cook for 1-2 minutes then set aside. 

2.  Cook pasta.  Drain and reserve 1/4 cup cooking water.  Place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl.  

3.  Add pasta cooking water to garlic/chile mix and bring to a boil.  Add tomatoes and arugula and cook only until warm. 

4.  Pour sauce over pasta.  Season with salt and pepper and top with grated cheese.