Not to be overly dramatic or anything, but today my life changed forever and it’s all thanks to a sauce. Or rather this specific oven-roasted tomato sauce, which is unspeakably good – so fresh, so vibrant, I’m convinced I will never be the same as no other tomato sauce could possibly live up to this one.
What makes it so good, you ask? I think it has to be the slow-roasted fresh tomatoes. Or maybe it’s the simplicity of the ingredients – there aren’t many (so unlike me, I know). Or maybe… I don’t know, just take my word that it’s damn good!
I made this version with striped Roma tomatoes I picked up at the farmers’ market, but regular Roma tomatoes would also be great.
I’ll admit I upped the ante a bit by making fresh pasta, but dried is fine, and is in fact what I’ll probably use next time. As much as I love fresh pasta and as simple as it is to make (see video), some nights I just don’t have the energy.
Try this recipe and let me know if it changes your life, too!
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce – makes 4 servings
1 1/2 pounds Roma tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, minced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
In a medium bowl combine the sliced tomatoes, salt, sugar, thyme and black pepper. Toss well and let sit at room temperature for 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
Toss the tomatoes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Reserve the liquid the tomatoes left behind in the bowl; set aside. Bake the tomatoes at 400°F for 20 minutes or until lightly roasted.
Heat the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the minced onions and cook stirring often until soft, about 7 minutes. Add the garlic and cook two minutes longer.
Add the roasted tomatoes and reserved liquid to the saucepan and simmer until the tomatoes break apart, stirring often. Stir in the basil.
Using a stick blender if you have one, gently blend the sauce to break apart larger pieces of tomato while still leaving the sauce with texture. If you don’t have a stick blender, cool the sauce a slightly then pour into a food processor or blender and pulse lightly. Return the sauce to the pan.
Return the sauce to a simmer and cook until it thickens slightly, about 2 to 3 minutes. Adjust seasoning to taste and add fresh lemon juice. Serve over hot pasta.