Usually when I make sauces or anything, recipes call for sauteeing
onions and garlic and then adding other stuff.
Last night, I borrowed an idea from a thai recipe and put separated
but unpeeled garlic cloves and unpeeled and halved (or quartered)
shallots into a heavy fry pan and dry roasted them. You need to shake
the pan or move them around with a spatula every once in a while but
cook until they blister a bit and are a bit browned (takes 5-10
minutes) and then remove them from the pan and let them cool until you
can touch them. Then peel and chop as you wish and add back to pan
along with wet ingredients. The dry roasting doesn't totally cook the
garlic and shallots but it does mellow them.
I was making a basic tomato sauce for pasta and it ended up with nice
tasty bits of garlic and shallots.