This recipe is one of the most creative things we’ve made on the grill. Grilling tomatoes in packets and then turning those tomatoes into marinara results in a unforgettable smoky sauce.
But then I added salt.
The next bite popped in my mouth! The salt brought out the smoky flavor from the grill which is exactly what I was hoping for.
A few packets of tomato may not be enough for heating up a large grill, but this marinara is the perfect thing to make when you have the grill up and running for other things. (We grilled ours while making a chicken this weekend.) Then you can quickly throw the sauce together and freeze it for another day, if it doesn’t fit on your current menu.
This ends up being a basic marinara for any type of pasta. I am a huge fan of homemade, but I went for a quick meal this weekend and used a whole wheat penne.
The veggies only need to be roughly chopped for the grill packets. They’ll be going straight to the blender to puree so there is no reason to spend a lot of time on the prep.
I’ll be doing this with our tomatoes for the rest of the season! The flavor is so much more interesting than when I roast the veggies in the oven.
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled
- ~2.75 lbs. tomatoes, cored and chopped
- 1 red or green bell pepper, cored and chopped
- ~15 leaves fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon fine ground sea salt
- 1 lb. pasta, cooked
- Extra basil and shaved parmesan for serving
- Preheat the grill to 325 degrees F.
- You will need 3 large pieces of aluminum foil, about 14 to 16 inches long. You want the veggies wrapped well, so be generous.
- Divide the onion, garlic cloves, tomatoes, bell pepper and basil evenly on each of the three pieces of foil. Drizzle some of the olive oil over the vegetables in each packet and move the veggies around a bit to coat them.
- You can use any packet making techniques, but I fold the long sides in first. Then I pull the two ends together in the center to meet and roll them down, smashing things together as I go. As long as you have a sealed packet, you'll be fine. Need help? Here's a post with instructions.
- Place the packets on the grill, and close the lid. Let cook for 30 to 40 minutes, until the veggies are tender. Remove them from the grill and transport them into the kitchen.
- Once they are cool enough to touch, place the veggies in the blender in batches. Puree until smooth and pour the puree in a soup pot on the stove. Turn on low heat, and add the balsamic vinegar and the salt. Stir occasionally. You are only warming the sauce again until you are ready to eat it. (If you plan to freeze it, you can skip the heating, mix in the vinegar and salt and portion it for freezing.)
- Place the pasta in a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over pasta, and garnish with basil and parmesan cheese.
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