This 3-ingredient roasted tomato sauce is the ultimate set-it-and-forget-it recipe! It boasts a rich, ripe tomato flavor and an ethereal lightness and could not be easier to make. You won’t believe that this sauce is made with no (dairy-free or otherwise) milk or cream!
Every summer I get obsessed with tomatoes for a little while. We are lucky and have awesome local tomatoes here in Maryland. I usually even manage to grow a few of my own on the back porch*. I eat some form of tomato sauce almost daily!
*I grew this basil too! So proud.
Tomatoes are also a source of vitamin C which means they can help you absorb any plant-based iron in your meal more efficiently. Winning!
There are so many different ways to make tomato sauce, but as you might recall from my 30-minute fresh tomato marinara and my burst cherry tomato sauce, I am all about highlighting the beautiful sweet and savory flavors of fresh tomato, and keeping the rest of the ingredients very simple.
To preserve the tomato flavor it’s best to either cook it for a short period of time or to cook it very gently, which is why oven roasting this tomato sauce is perfect. All you do is 1) slice some tomatoes and place them in a baking dish, 2) scatter them with a few cloves of garlic, 3) drizzle with olive oil and roast at a low temperature for a while, and 4) blend the whole thing until smooth, then enjoy your amazing roasted tomato sauce!
Yep, that’s it! Just olive oil, tomatoes, and garlic – plus salt to taste. If you’re feeling really bold, add some ground black pepper or red pepper flakes. But this sauce really does not need to be doctored up with dried herbs, onion, etc. It’s just pure roasted tomato deliciousness.
Why does this roasted tomato sauce look so creamy and light in color? When you blend the roasted tomatoes, their juices and the olive oil, the sauce emulsifies and creates an airy texture and color. You can’t even see the tomato seeds in here – it’s pretty amazing.
You can use almost any kind of tomato: grape or cherry tomatoes, Romas, or anything in between. Just follow the general guideline by weight in my recipe below. Tomato lovers, set forth and enjoy this oven-baked tomato sauce!
Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Slice the tomatoes in half and place them cut side down in a roasting dish. All of the tomatoes must be touching the bottom of the pan; if you layer them, they won't cook properly, so make a smaller quantity of sauce or divide into two pans if needed.
- Scatter the peeled garlic cloves on top of the tomatoes, and drizzle 3 tbsp of olive oil over everything. Sprinkle with the salt (and pepper, if desired). Roast until the tomatoes are tender, their juices released into the pan and the skins wrinkled, and the garlic cloves are also tender, about 80-90 minutes. After 45-60 minutes, you can gently stir. I kind of push the tomatoes around with a spatula, rather than outright stirring them, so that they stay cut side down.
- Transfer the roasting pan mixture to a blender or food processor, and blend until smooth. Season to taste with additional salt; I use plenty. Serve warm, with pasta or accompaniment of choice.
Adapted from Naturally Ella. (<- non-vegan recipe).