Roasted Tomato Sauce

Yields About 2 Cups

At first, I was not sure of what to call this recipe. It can be considered a roasted tomato sauce and a tomato pesto. It is absolutely lovely spooned onto a mountain of your favorite pasta, or spread onto a sandwich with mozzarella cheese and fresh basil leaves. To make a cheesy sauce, add up to ½ cup of Parmigiano-Reggiano to the sauce, followed by the pasta water and maybe even add in a small handful basil leaves (when blending in the food processor) for some more flavor. If you plan on using this on a sandwich, you can leave out the pasta water and maybe add in a few fresh herbs. This sauce / pesto is as versatile as it gets! Enjoy!

1 ½ lbs cherry tomatoes (washed, dried, and halved)
½ lb cipollini onions (about 6 onions)
Salt & pepper
½ tablespoon Olive oil

⅔ cup reserved pasta water (if being served with pasta; optional)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Line two rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Bring a small pot of water to a boil, and blanch the cipollini for about 20 seconds, then placing them into ice water. Using a paring knife, make small cuts on the outer layer of the cipollini onions, and slide the outer layer off. Cut the onions into quarters.

Coat the onions with the olive oil, and a sprinkling of salt. Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Arrange the tomatoes, cut side up, on the second baking sheet. Lightly shower with salt.

Bake everything for about 30-40 minutes, or until the tomatoes crinkle around the edges and the onions have browned and begun to caramelize.

In the bowl of a food processor or blender, blend the cipollini and the tomatoes until smooth, about 10 seconds. Place the mixture in a medium saucepan on medium-low heat, stir in enough pasta water to a desired consistency (I added about ⅔ cup of the reserved pasta water to the mixture, but you can definitely use less). Swirl in the butter, taste for salt (and add freshly cracked black pepper, if desired) and spoon the warm sauce onto a bowl of your favorite pasta. Enjoy!

**For a few variations, be sure to read the head notes**