There are always fresh vegetables here in the D.R. - the tropics provide the perfect temperature for growing cubanelle peppers, bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, and every kind of fruit you could possibly imagine. I bought gluten-free pasta the other day, but I decided I wanted to make my own sauce, without using any meat.
The sauce I made was easy, cheap, perfect for summer, and bursting with flavor. The sauce was so chunky and full of texture that the fiance and I did not miss the meat one bit.
The only thing you need is time to roast the vegetables in the oven - 1 hour for each pan-full. In my first pan, onions, peppers, garlic, and carrots roasted. In the second, I roasted the tomatoes, a couple of carrots more, and cilantro:
Roasted Vegetable and Tomato Pasta Sauce
5-6 large tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into large, even chunks
2 large peppers, seeded and cut into large chunks
5 cloves of garlic, peeled
2 carrots, peeled and cut into thirds
1/3 cup olive oil
1-2 tablespoons fresh basil or cilantro, chopped
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon sugar (optional)
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place all of your vegetables into 1 pan or 2. Sprinkle the oil evenly and add oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss the vegetables with your hands so everything is coated with the oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. Roast each pan for an hour, until the vegetables are soft, lightly browned, and the edges of the tomatoes have turned in a little.
Add the roasted vegetables with the cilantro or basil to a food processor or blender and pulse until you have a chunky sauce. Add a little more olive oil if you want, but the sauce should be thick and chunky, not watery.
Finally, add the sauce to a shallow pan and heat through. Add more basil, oregano, salt, and pepper if you want. Taste it, and add the sugar if you wish - which I always do!
Hint: Add mushrooms, zucchini, hot peppers, or other vegetables you think might be a great addition, in the last steps on the stove.
Serve over your favorite pasta and add freshly grated mozzarella or parmesan cheese on top! The next day, it tastes even better!
a buen tiempo!