Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 1/2 hours
Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
2 - 28 oz cans peeled whole tomatoes drained, halved and seeded (preferably Muir Glen)
1/2 to 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
14 large basil leaves, torn
2 - 4 inch branches fresh rosemary
1 small red onion diced
5 large cloves of garlic coarsely diced
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. Spread out the tomatoes in a large shallow pan (a half sheet pan is ideal) and drizzle on the oil. Add the basil, rosemary, onion, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Turn the tomatoes to coat with the oil. Bake the tomatoes in the preheated oven, basting and turning the tomatoes several times, for 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours. The tomatoes are done when their color deepens to dark scarlet and they taste mellow and very rich. Don't let them brown, nor the garlic to brown -- it'll turn bitter.
Transfer the tomatoes and the oil to a glass or china bowl. Set aside at toom temperature until they cool or for as long as 5 or 6 hours. The flavors will ripen in time.
Cover tightly and refrigerate the tomatoes for up to 4 days, or freeze for up to 3 months. Serve the tomatoes at room temperature with crusty bread or tossed with hot pasta.