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Roasted tomato and herb red sauce

My homemade tomato and herb red sauce is delicious. Honestly, although it’s easy to open a can of Prego and pour it over some pasta, the flavor doesn’t even compare. With my sauce there’s no need for canned tomatoes, it’s easy to roast them in the oven and with parchment paper cleanup is a breeze. Plus, I like to avoid preservatives and chemically enhanced flavors as often as possible.

Edgy tip! Cook your sauce in advance.

Always make your tomato sauce a day ahead of when you plan to serve it. When I make a sauce I’ll usually make a large batch and freeze it in a few evenly divided Ziplock bags to use throughout the week. This sauce will be delicious when you finish, but it will become incredible if it’s allow to sit in the fridge or freezer for at least 24 hours.

This sauce is also quite versatile. You can use it with pasta, on top of batter dipped and fried eggplant, or even use it on a pizza. I actually made this exact sauce about a week ago and used it with a homemade vegetarian lasagna. It was my best friends birthday, and by making the sauce ahead of time the preparation of the lasagna was actually quite easy (in that the majority of my work was done the night before). I did make the lasagna noodles from scratch at the party, so I’ll admit that did take a bit of time. I quite like homemade noodles in a lasagna, but I’ll explain that in a future post…

Fresh herbs make a big difference! Seriously. Dried herbs don’t bring the same flavor. If you’re going to put in the effort to roast your own vegetables for a sauce from scratch then it’s worth getting fresh herbs to use.


15 – 20 tomatoes of various types
2 carrots
Fresh herbs (I usually use Parsley, Oregano, and Basil)
1 large white onion
1 large (or 2 small) red bell peppers
1 clove garlic
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
White pepper
2 tsp tomato paste


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit, and line two cake pans with parchment paper. Slice tomatoes in half (I like using a few different types of tomatoes for a great, well rounded flavor) and place them in the pans cut side down.
2. Peel and slice carrots and place in pans with tomatoes. Drizzle with olive oil and about a Tbsp of salt. Roughly chop a handful of Parsley and sprinkle over tomatoes and carrots. Bake for between 40 and 50 minutes, or until tomato skins are soft, and carrots are cooked through.

3. Chop onions and bell peppers, combine with about 1 1/2 Tbsp of olive oil, and sauté over medium heat until soft. Avoid using high heat, as it may cause the olive oil to burn. Season with salt, as well as black and white pepper.
4. Dice garlic with a sprinkle of salt and add to the cooked onions and peppers. Allow to cook for about two minutes, then stir in tomato paste.

5. Transfer roasted tomatoes and carrots to the pot using a slotted spoon. Try to avoid transferring excessive amounts of the oil and liquid at the bottom of the pan.
6. Chop up a few handfuls of basil, oregano, and remaining parsley. Add to the sauce pan, and cook over medium/low heat for another 10 minutes while stirring constantly.

7. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes, then use an immersion blender to break up all of the chunks in your sauce. I like a pretty smooth sauce, so I’ll go to town with the immersion blender, but if you like you’re a little chunkier then go for it.
8. Taste your sauce, and season as needed. At this point you should be looking for the salt and pepper level. Keep in mind, the flavors from the herbs will increase while the sauce sits over night. With your salt, keep in mind that you always add more salt and pepper when you reheat your sauce to use it in a dish.

Be creative, and explore with your own ingredients!

My sauce recipe is pretty straightforward, but you can customize it as you like. If you want more of a heavy bell pepper flavor then increase the number of peppers you use, and throw a few into your roasting pans along with the tomatoes and carrots. Or maybe you’re not a fan of oregano? You can go heavy on the basil for more of a basil red sauce. I prefer more of a sweet red sauce, but if you want more of a kick then throw in a Serrano pepper in with your onions.


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