Tomato conserva may range from sweet and jammy to savory and richly oily. Ours is rich and savory, with a velvety texture, perfect for smearing on bread or tossing with pasta. We developed this recipe with cherry or grape tomatoes, which tend to be reliably good no matter the season. We found simmering them in a generous amount of olive oil was the best way to render the fruits silky-tender and concentrate their sweetness. A generous dose of water added to the pot helps the tomatoes break down quickly while preventing their natural sugars from scorching before the mixture reduces to a thick, chunky consistency. The conserva will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
medium garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
01In a large pot over medium, combine the oil and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until the garlic begins to brown, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, sugar, bay and 1 teaspoon salt, then add 2 cups water. Bring to a boil over high, then reduce to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally and adjusting the heat as needed to maintain a steady but not too vigorous boil, until the tomatoes have burst and begin sticking to the bottom of the pot, 30 to 35 minutes.
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