Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce

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Easy Roasted Tomato Sauce

This tastes so incredibly vibrant, this sauce--so rich and essential, as if all the tomatoes in the world have been distilled into one red tablespoon of platonic tomato-ness.

What you'll need

  • 3-4 pounds ripe tomatoes, ideally plum, stems removed
  • 1 medium onion, halved and sliced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, smashed and peeled
  • A large pinch of dried herb, crumbled (marjoram, thyme, basil or oregano) or 1 teaspoon chopped fresh (optional)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon each kosher salt and sugar
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Helpful Tip:

If I'm planning to freeze the sauce, I omit the herbs so that it can be used in either Italian or Mexican dishes without any conflicting flavors.


Try buttering your hot spaghetti before saucing; it adds so much delicious richness.

How to make it

  1. Heat the oven to 375.

  2. Slice the tomatoes in half lengthwise, then arrange them cut-side down, in one layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet (mine is 12- by 17-inches), lined with parchment paper, if you like, for easier clean-up. Arrange the onions, garlic and herbs over the top, then drizzle the whole thing evenly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, sugar, and pepper.

  3. Bake for an hour and a half to two hours (or so), until the tomatoes are browning in spots and have fully collapsed. Around an hour in, the tomatoes will be sitting in a flood of juice in their pans, and then this juice will reduce as they cook further, which is what you want for a the thickest and most flavorful sauce.

  4. Now you have two choices: put the contents of the pan (including all the juices), through a food mill: this will make a smooth, skinless and seedless sauce. Or else blend it all in a blender or food processor, which will make a good but more roughly textured and seedy sauce.

  5. Use it or allow to cool completely and spoon into freezer bags and freeze.

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