Roasted Tomato Sauce



There is always an ample supply of homemade tomato sauce in our freezer. We haven’t bought a jar of grocery store tomato sauce since before the Berlin Wall fell, and for good reason.

Homemade is better. Jarred sauce is junk. Full stop.

Making spaghetti? Lasagna? Meatballs? Even the base for a spicy chili? Your freezer full of homemade tomato sauce is ready to provide you with the base you need for tonight’s dinner.

So make a ton of it. You’ll run out far quicker than your stomach will tolerate.

The Food

Roasted Tomato Sauce


Ingredients [to start]:
"To Start" because with tomato sauce, you first start out with a base, and then add “a little more of this, and a little more of that” until you get it tasting just right.

If you are roasting your own tomatoes: 100 fresh tomatoes (Roma or Plum), halved, and roasted (see notes)
If you are too lazy to roast your own tomatoes: 8 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, preferably San Marzano tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
4 tablespoons butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, minced
2 stalks of celery, finely chopped
2-3 heads garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups dry Italian red wine (Chianti, Barbaresco or Barbera are all good choices)
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons dried oregano
2/3 cup large stem fresh basil, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup fresh parsley, minced
2/3 cup sugar (equal mix of white and brown)
1 red jalapeño, finely chopped (optional, only if you want to add a little “diavlo” to your sauce)


Roasting the tomatoes…

  1. Slice the tomatoes in half, at the core.
  2. Place tomatoes skin side down on an unlined baking sheet, do not stack.
  3. Drizzle with olive oil, sea salt, crushed black pepper, and minced garlic.
  4. Bake in a 450 degree oven for 30-45 minutes, or until tomatoes are tender to your liking.
  5. Set aside to cool.
  6. Remove skins and using your hands, crush the tomatoes by squeezing them in your fingers until pieces no larger than 1/2-inch remain, and set aside.

Making the sauce…

  1. In a large thick-bottomed pot, heat olive oil and butter on medium heat until it sizzles.
  2. Add onions and cook until fragrant, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
  3. Add carrots and celery and cook until soft, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, stirring occasionally to keep from burning.
  5. Add tomatoes, and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  6. Add red wine, oregano, parsley, sugar, basil and red pepper flakes, and stir thoroughly.
  7. Continue stirring every 30 seconds for five minutes.
  8. Taste and continue seasoning until reaching desired taste.
  9. Once desired taste profile is reached, simmer on low for 4-6 hours (the longer it simmers, the more the individual flavors will meld together), stirring occasionally to keep from burning.

The Wine

High Acid Italian Reds


Tomatoes are acidic. A wine that doesn't match the acidity of the tomato sauce will make your wine taste bland. So you want a wine with a good amount of acidity.

Sangiovese is the grape in Chianti, and a perfect pairing. Cabernet Sauvignon, found in many super Tuscans is also a great option. And a third great pick would be Rosso di Montalcino, also from Tuscany. (yeah, we love our Tuscan wines).

As you add richness to your sauce with meat, choose wines with a little more body such as Barolo and Barbaresco from Piedmont in northern Italy (simmering your sauce with homemade meatballs, pork ribs, veal or beef will add depth and robustness to your sauce that will fill your belly as much as your soul).

Photo Credit
A twilight dinner at Castello di Ama, in Tuscany, Italy.

Buen Provecho!

Expressing to you so much more than simply "enjoy your meal".