Roasted Tomato Sauce

My friend Jess is a big advocate for homemade tomato sauce. A few years ago we traveled down the Jersey shore together for a week with her husband and some other friends. A lot of the nights we cooked at home since we had a house with a full kitchen and supplies. Ever since that trip I have been a big fan of doing the same, especially as over time I have learned how easy it is.

One type of pasta sauce I like to make is my Roasted Tomato Sauce. I reduce down red wine, I roast tomatoes, roast garlic, and overall the sauce is full of intense, yet muted flavors. It serves well for baked pasta dishes, such as lasagna or ziti, where at times the filling is the main star of the dish.

Two pounds fresh tomatoes, cored and sliced
Six cloves garlic, peeled
Cooking spray
1 bottle red wine
1 large sweet or yellow onion, chopped
Olive oil, for sauteeing
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper, as needed/to taste
Worcestershire sauce, to taste

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees
  2. Slice tomatoes, sprinkle with salt and pepper and arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet (more than one baking sheet may be necessary). Arrange the cloves of garlic on the baking sheet as well. Spray both sides of the tomatoes with cooking spray. Bake for about 1/2 an hour – tomatoes should be soft and falling apart, but not dry.
  3. Meanwhile, pour the wine into a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce the liquid by 1/2 – 2/3, the texture should start becoming thicker, almost syrupy.
  4. In a large stock pot, coat the bottom with olive oil, about 1/4 to 1/3 a cup. Heat the oil for about a minute and add the onions. Cook for about 1 minute and add Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and nutmeg. Continue to cook the onions until soft and slightly translucent, about five minutes.
  5. Add the strained tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, and wine. Season sauce with salt and pepper.
  6. Remove the tomatoes from the oven, mash all together with the garlic – ingredients should mash easily. Add mixture to sauce.
  7. Add sugar and a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce. Simmer for one hour. Adjust seasonings as desired.
  8. Sauce can be refrigerated for two weeks or frozen to be used as needed. For best results, cool down and refrigerate overnight before using in your favorite recipe.