Preheat the oven to 250°F.
Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the basil and red pepper flakes, and stir well.
Cut the tomatoes in half lengthwise. (Leave the cherry tomatoes whole.) Toss the tomatoes with the sugar and salt.
Place the tomatoes, cut side down in a roasting pan that will hold them in a single layer. (If you don't have a large enough pan, use an additional roasting pan and more olive oil.) Spoon the onion mixture over the tomatoes. Add enough olive oil to come halfway up the tomatoes, about 1/2 cup.
Roast the tomatoes until the tomatoes are tender, but not falling apart, about 3 hours (about 1 hour for cherry tomatoes). Stir once, gently, during the braising. Let cool; then refrigerate, covered in their oil.
Jody notes: This recipe is great for those winter tomatoes that are not as flavorful as the summer season tomatoes. This technique helps intensify their flavors and the end product is great for sauces and soups. In their cooking oil, these tomatoes will last for 2 weeks in your refrigerator, and the oil is reusable and fabulous. Caution: Never insert your bare fingers into the storage container, or you will risk contaminating the oil with bacteria from your skin.
|... an excerpt of:
"In the Hands of a Chef" (William Morrow)
click on the cover to see it at Amazon.com