Visit My Etsy Store!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

roasted tomato sauce

last year i froze about 7 quarts of tomato sauce for our winter consumption. i was making a somewhat fussy sauce, using onions, grated carrots, red wine, garlic, herbs, and who knows what else. this year i wanted to simplify. and, frankly, i wanted a better sauce.

the first couple of quarts i made were basically tomato puree from fresh tomatoes simmered forever with olive oil and salt until reduced, dark red, and delicious. then i discovered this roasted sauce and love it so much i've made it a goal to keep making it until there's simply no more room in the freezer. roasting the tomatoes first brings out their natural sweetness and gorgeous tomato-y flavor, and that little bit of roasting time actually reduces the amount of time that the sauce has to cook down. 

play with the herbs and such, depending on your taste. (there's definitely room for more garlic, for you garlic lovers!)

roasted tomato sauce
adapted from the heirloom tomato by amy goldman

5 pounds plum/paste tomatoes, cored and quartered
5 large cloves of garlic, cut in half
handful of basil leaves
3 oregano sprigs
3 thyme sprigs
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper

preheat oven to 400 degrees. 
in casserole dish or roasting pan, combine tomatoes, garlic cloves, herbs, salt and pepper, and toss all with the olive oil.

roast 30 minutes, stirring a time or two. remove from oven and allow to cool a bit. pull out any stemmy thyme and oregano sprigs. 

when cool enough to handle, place a food mill over a heavy-bottomed pot and puree the tomatoes, garlic, and all juices through the mill in batches using the finest disc. skins and seeds will be left behind. 

bring sauce to a simmer and cook, uncovered, over med-low heat, stirring occasionally, until it reduces to the thickness you want. i cooked mine about an hour. taste from time to time and adjust salt. i also added about a teaspoon of sugar, as i like a little sweetness in my tomato sauce.

use immediately, or pack in freezer container, label, and freeze! 5 lbs tomatoes makes 1 quart of sauce.

*note: i have no idea what it would take to be able to can this sauce. tomatoes are tricky because some are more high-acid than others, and so are safe in a hot water canning process. i'd suggest finding a recipe at a trusted source like ball to make sure the sauce you open up in january isn't full of toxic spores!

our garden-- anna russian and polish linguisa tomatoes, herbs 
alvarez farms-- roma tomatoes and garlic


  1. Bookmarking for next year when hopefully I'll have some damned tomatoes. I've never thought about roasting prior to sauce-making. Send me some? ;)

  2. i know, this summer was dreadful for tomatoes! most of mine had to come from the other side of the cascades where they actually had *sun*. try it next year! i think you'll like it!

  3. Mmmm, sauce looks great!
    I only made about 10 quarts of sauce this year. Sigh. Next year will be better right? Right? (actually, i heard it could be worse...ugh!)
    What kind of mill do you use?

  4. worse? seriously? like cold and rainy again? NOOO! i demand justice!

    i use a standard OXO food mill. i bought it a couple of years ago for making sauce. when i run raw tomatoes through it, the sauce takes a while to thicken. i found that roasting and milling results in a thicker texture to start with, reducing the cook time.