This was completely a happy accident and now my life will never be the same. I started out wanting to make something similar to this magic sauce, but was going to use it as a base for my homemade pizza tonight, so I added some tomato paste to make it more, well, pizza-like. When I gave it a taste I was absolutely stunned. it tasted just like those oil packed sun dried tomatoes!
I was so happy because nearly every time I'm at the store I want to buy them, but the price always holds me back. Now I know I can make something that tastes really, really similar and for VERY little money.
So, what do you do with this "sauce"? Well....
- Use it as a pizza sauce (like I'm going to do tonight)
- Toss warm pasta in it, and then top with some parmesan cheese
- Use it as an uber flavorful sandwich spread (best with focaccia or other hearty bread)
- Use in place of garlic butter on sliced french bread for a tomatoey version of garlic toast
- Just go ahead and dip really good, crusty bread in it!
(not) Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
Total Recipe cost: $1.17
Servings Per Recipe: variable, about 1/2 cup total
Prep time: 0 min. Cook time: 5-10 min. Total: 10 min.
|1/3 cup||olive oil||$0.64|
|1 clove||garlic, minced||$0.08|
|1/2 tsp||dried oregano||$0.03|
|1/2 tsp||dried basil||$0.03|
|1/4 tsp||dried thyme||$0.02|
|1/4 tsp||dried rosemary||$0.02|
|a pinch||crushed red pepper||$0.02|
|10-15 cranks||freshly cracked pepper||$0.02|
|3 oz.||tomato paste||$0.27|
STEP 1: Add the olive oil, garlic, basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt, and some freshly cracked pepper to a small skillet. Stir and heat the mixture over low heat for about 3-5 minutes. It's okay if it sizzles slightly, but you don't want it to get hot enough that the herbs burn.
STEP 2: Add the tomato paste and honey. Allow it to heat through as you stir. It will not form a smooth sauce. Continue to stir and heat over low for about 5 minutes or until you notice the tomato paste has darkened slightly. Either use immediately or refrigerate until ready to use!
NOTE: If you don't have all of the herbs listed above, you can still make a pretty good version of this. The thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, and freshly cracked pepper are optional. Of course, for the most flavor use them all :)
Step By Step Photos
Start by adding the olive oil, garlic, and all of the herbs to a skillet (basil, oregano, thyme, rosemary, crushed red pepper, salt, cracked pepper). Heat over low for a few minutes. It's okay if the oil sizzles just slightly, but don't let it burn.
Cooking it for a few minutes helps infuse the oil with the herbal flavor and cooks out the raw garlic flavor.
Next add your tomato paste. This is actually tomato paste that I had frozen. I never seem to use the entire can (even those it's one of those tiny 6 ounce cans), so I always put the rest in a small zip top bag and freeze it.
Also add the honey. Cook and stir over low heat until it's heated through and the tomato paste has darkened slightly (see the difference between the vibrant red in the last picture and this deep crimson color?). That should take about 5 minutes. Now it's ready to use! (this picture is actually before I added a full 3 ounces of tomato paste, so it looks a little scant.)
It makes about a half cup. The "sauce" will not be a smooth, cohesive mixture because of the oil/water thing happening. But, that doesn't mean it's not delicious! If you're spreading it on bread or something, just make sure to get some of the tomato paste and some of the oil. The oil balances the extreme tanginess of the tomato.
Can you almost TASTE it?!