Episode 401: Raichlen Grills St. Louis

Wood-Grilled Tomato Sauce

Grilled Ravioli with Smoked Roasted Tomato Sauce

This recipe is used with Toasted Ravioli with Grilled Tomato Sauce in Project Fire Episode 401: Raichlen Grills St. Louis


Wood-Grilled Tomato Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes 3 1/2 to 4 cups


  • 2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes
  • 12 shishito peppers
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut lengthwise in wedges
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and skewered on a toothpick or bamboo skewer
  • 1 rib celery, washed
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coarse salt (sea or kosher) and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 strips bacon, slivered
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, slivered
  • Pinch of hot red pepper flakes

Recipe Steps

1: Make the tomato sauce: Set up your grill for direct grilling and heat to high. Thread the tomatoes, shishito peppers, and onion wedges on separate bamboo skewers.

2: Lightly brush the tomatoes, peppers, onion, garlic, and celery with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the vegetables on the grate and grill until blistered and browned, 2 minutes per side. Remove the vegetables from the skewers and add to the bowl of a food processor. Coarsely chop the celery. Chop to a coarse puree.

3: In the meantime, sauté the bacon in a large skillet on the stovetop or your grill’s side burner until it renders its fat. (There is no need to drain the fat.)

4: Add the chopped veggies and tomato paste and simmer until thick and richly flavored, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir in the basil, hot red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper to taste: the tomato sauce should be highly seasoned. Finish with a drizzle of olive oil. Keep warm until you’re ready to plate the ravioli. Serve hot.

Recipe Tips

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Steven Raichlen’s Project Fire is a production of Maryland Public Television, Barbacoa, Inc., and Resolution Pictures. © 2021 Barbacoa, Inc. Photos by Chris Bierlein

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