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    As I write this, a batch of heirloom tomatoes are slow-roasting in the oven. It is foggy outside and cool. Leaves on the trees are that goldy-green colour they get at this time of year, especially along muddy riverbanks. It’s peaceful. The aroma filling the house is heavenly. The tomatoes are roasting with thyme from the garden, olive oil and garlic. Later they’ll be transformed into a Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce.

    Making a slow-roasted tomato sauce takes patience and planning. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not hard to do but it does mean thinking ahead and then being willing to wait while the tomatoes take their sweet tomatoey time to intensify. Definitely worth it because the sauce – the outcome – will be a rich, pungent reminder of deep summer and the reward of time invested.  For me, this type of cooking is a signal of summer’s true end and the beginning of autumn.

    And autumn is a time when we roll up our cardigan sleeves and get back to school or work and get started on the projects we dreamed up while lying in summer’s indolent hammock. But, oh! to bring a little of that lazy sweetness along with us as we launch into fresh lists and new goals.

    In October, I’m co-leading a two-day personal leadership retreat called “Starting Where You Are” in the beautiful resort community of Whistler B.C.

    Using coaching frameworks, the primary focus over the weekend will be creating a leadership philosophy and a personal strategic plan, so you can translate your thoughts, feelings and ideas into action.

    We’ll also offer tips and tools so you will come away ready to take your work or life to the next level. From giving great presentations to social media we’ve got you covered. Oh, and that book you’re secretly dying to write – we’ve got that, too. And if that doesn’t do it for you, you’ve got the option to skip a topic and book a massage, reiki or 1:1 session or just take time to reflect.

    Consider it the slow-roasting approach to getting back into gear.

    The rewards of taking time to stop, reflect, plan, and re-energize multiply as the days and months unfold. Investing in time for yourself now gives you clarity and focus in the future.

    Kind of like the way popping open that jar of savoury sauce in mid-winter fills you with joy and  a certain smug satisfaction that you took the time to do it right.

    You can read more about the retreat in my recent newsletter, and you can visit www.yourpathtolead.com to find out about our amazing team and to register.

    Meantime, here is the recipe for Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce (inspired by a recipe from Golden Ears FEAST).

    • 2 baskets of mixed heirloom tomatoes, quartered
    • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
    • 1/4 c olive oil + 1 T
    • 1 T butter
    • 1 diced onion
    • 1/2 bunch fresh basil
    • 1 1/2 cups dry white or red wine
    • Juice of 1 lemon
    • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
    Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Gently mix together quartered tomatoes, 1/4 c olive oil, 2 cloves minced garlic and thyme (stripped). Cover rimmed cookie sheets with parchment paper and arrange tomatoes in a single layer. Reserve juice and herbs left in bowl. Roast at 250 degrees for approx 2 hours. (If you like, reduce heat to 200 degrees and roast for three hours). Cool.
    Put tomatoes through a food mill to crush and remove skins. If you don’t have a food mill, omit this step and use a food processor* at the end.
    Saute onions and remaining clove of minced garlic in oil and butter until onions are translucent.  Add wine and simmer until reduced by half. Add crushed tomatoes, reserved juice,  salt and pepper to taste and finely chopped basil. Simmer 20 mins and add half the lemon juice. Taste and adjust.
    *If you are using a food processor, add roasted tomatoes and reserved juice to simmering onion-wine mixture. Simmer together for 15 minutes – skins may separate and you can pick these out with tongs (if you’re not fussy, you can also leave them as you will be putting the mixture through the food processor). Add salt and pepper to taste. Let cool and put through food processor. As you process add fresh basil leaves and whirl them through, too. Put processed sauce back into pot. Add half the lemon juice. Taste and adjust. Simmer for 10 minutes or so and then serve or store.
    Take your time and savour it…both the doing and the eating.




    This sounds delicious.....I can visualize the sauce being poured over a nice bowl of pasta - YUMM!


    Mmmm. I know, right? All-time fave comfort food. I hope you give the recipe a try, Suzan. Let me know how it turns out for you!