- Approx. 8 medium-to-large tomatoes, cut into quarters
- 2 small onions, peeled and cut into quarters
- A handful of misc. vegetables*, cleaned and cut into chunks
- 5-10 cloves garlic, root ends cut off, unpeeled
- 1 (fresh) cayenne pepper
- Dried thyme
- Dried basil
- Dried parsley
- Dried oregano
- Crushed red pepper flakes
- Salt & Pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Cooking spray
*This sauce can handle some extra veggies to give it a little extra body and flavor. I had a small eggplant left over from the farmer’s market and I peeled that and added it to the bunch. In other recipes I’ve found, I’ve seen people call for carrots, celery, or squash. I’d stick to one of the aforementioned ingredients—no broccoli, spinach, radishes, etc. Nothing with too strong of a flavor or too much texture.
Preheat the oven to 350*F. Cover a large baking sheet/pan with foil and lightly spray the foil with cooking spray, like Pam. Place the tomatoes, onions, garlic, misc. vegetables, and cayenne pepper on the tray, drizzle in olive oil, sprinkle with seasoning (about 1 tsp. each), and toss to coat. The vegetables should glisten with the olive oil, but not be drenched (you can always add a little more as it’s cooking). Put the tray in the oven and cook for at least 1 hour (preferably 2-3) for maximum flavor. Once cooked through and fragrant (but not burnt), remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Peel the skins off of the tomatoes and pop the garlic cloves out of their skins (cutting the ends off at the beginning should make it so that you can squeeze the cloves right out of their skins and discard these skins/peelings. Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender, or use a stick blender, and blend together the ingredients until smooth. Serve hot with pasta or other dish, or freeze and use at a later time.
Prep time: 10 min.
Cooking time: 1-3 hours
My absolute favorite thing about this sauce is the amazing aroma that fills my apartment while it’s cooking. It doesn’t take much longer than 10 or 15 minutes for the smell of sweet onion, warm garlic, and tangy tomato to fill the air, and the longer you let this cook, the better the aroma and flavor. This is an easy sauce to make—perfect for a weeknight meal or a day when you’ve got work to do around the house (because you simply throw everything on a pan, put it in the oven, and forget about it for a few hours while you do your thang). It’s tomato sauce, so it works in a variety of dishes—pasta sauce, pizza sauce, lasagna, and probably even as a tomato soup base.