I first posted this Roasted Tomato Sauce recipe in the first year of my blog – 2010! Since then, my photography skills have improved (just a little) as have my recipe writing skills. I’ve updated the recipe since then, once for a feature on the blog Eating Rules during their October Unprocessed series and again now for this post. If you’ve never made roasted tomato sauce, trust me and give this a try.
Super Easy Oven Roasted Tomato Sauce
Roasted tomato sauce yields big flavor without much work. Always a winning combination in my kitchen. Even though it requires turning on the oven, it’s worth it even on a hot summer day. I promise.
Summer is tomato time – the red beauties are at their cheapest and most flavorful. As are fresh herbs like basil. Buy a few pounds of tomatoes and a bunch of fresh basil. Throw it all in a big roasting pan with some other aromatics like garlic and onion and oregano along with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Roast the heck out of it. Let it cool and blend it. It’s really that simple. But it tastes like you worked on it for hours!
The first time I made this, I created a delicious meatless meal by serving this sauce over pasta with some tasty roasted vegetables and my vegetarian cousin was so very happy. She doesn’t even like to cook, except to warm up her purchases from the Whole Foods prepared food counter. But she took a copy of the recipe home with her to Florida and really did prepare the sauce all by herself.
As with any cooking, it’s all about the ingredients. If your tomatoes are not the tastiest ones in the market, make up for it with the balsamic and olive oil or the herbs that you use. This sauce may taste a little different each time you prepare it. That’s part of the fun. But to be honest, you can’t really go wrong with this technique. And it will please kids and adults.
Other Variations of Roasted Tomato Sauce
1. If you don’t have shallots, use some white, yellow, or red onion – just use a little less because shallots are milder.
2. No fresh herbs around? Use dried in whatever assortment you’d like.
3. Do you have roasted red peppers around? – put some of them in when you put it all in the blender. Or roast some with the tomatoes in the same pan.
4. Like it a little spicy? Add some crushed red pepper flakes in the roasting stage or blending stage.
5. Want to make it a meat sauce? – sauté your favorite spaghetti sauce meat and add the blended sauce to it before you put it over pasta.
Roasted Tomato Sauce
Roasted Tomato Sauce is a great way to use sumptuous summer tomatoes from the farmers' market or your own garden's bumper crop. But it's also a great way to make out-of-season tomatoes taste great!
- 3 - 4 pounds ripe tomatoes cored
- 3/4 cup shallots roughly chopped (equivalent to about 3 small shallots)
- 1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves divided, reserve 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves or use 2 - 3 teaspoons dried
- 6 large garlic cloves peeled
- 3/4 cup olive oil extra virgin but no need for your best EVOO
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Coarsely ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Core the tomatoes, coarsely chop the shallots, peel the garlic cloves (leave whole), and tear 1 cup of the basil and all the oregano from their stems.
Combine all ingredients in a roasting pan and saturate with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, top with salt and pepper, optional red pepper flakes, and mix well.
Roast the tomatoes and herbs for 55 minutes, or until the tomatoes begin to singe. Remove from oven and let cool.
Once cool, pour the contents of the roasting pan and the remaining ½ cup basil into a blender and blend on high for about a minute or until smooth.
To serve, pour over pasta or roasted vegetables and enjoy! (or just eat it by the spoonful)
Notes: No fresh basil or fresh oregano? No problem. Use dried - just remember that dried herbs are more intensely flavored (if they are not old) so use about 2 tablespoons of dried basil and a tablespoon of dried oregano. No shallots? No problem - try some onion - any color will do.