I LOVE making spaghetti. During undergrad, I’d made the biggest pot of it and my pledge brothers and I would eat for days. As I decided to birth my home cook capabilities, I was interested in how in the world to get away from the jarred sauce, lol. For one, it became very difficult to get the desired taste and the nicer jars got expensive for my broke pre-med student budget. When I discovered roasting my own tomatoes from watching one of the great on the Cooking Channel, I realized how much more flavorful my spaghetti became and how inexpensive it actually was. As with many of my recipes, I like to encourage you to customize the recipe according to what’s in your kitchen. Feel free to pick and choose which kind of tomato you’d like to you (the recipe calls for Roma) and switch or bundle up the fresh herbs between oregano, thyme, rosemary, and basil.
If you’re short on time, after blending or processing the roasted tomatoes and veggies mixture, you can immediately serve over pasta. In my recipe, I like to allow the sauce time to simmer. You’ll notice a richer flavor after allowing the seasonings, tomatoes, and herbs time to cook down and develop a deeper flavor. You’ll also notice a color change in the sauce which is always so cool to me. Sorry, I’m an undercover chemistry geek, lol.
What You Need
- 4 to 6 lbs of Roma Tomatoes, I like to buy enough tomatoes to cover two half-sheet baking pans. This makes about 12 cups of sauce in the end, enough for about 5 to 6 servings.
- 5 cloves of Fresh Garlic, Remember, the more, the merrier!
- 1 to 2 Onions, I love to use about 4 fresh shallots instead or mix 2 in with the onions.
- Olive Oil, you don’t want the veggies drenched but making sure that they are covered is important. 1/4 cup recommended.
- 2 tbsp Italian Seasoning
- Salt, to taste
- Black Pepper, to taste
- Fresh Basil and/or Oregano
What to Do
- Preheat your oven to 400 F.
- Cut the tomatoes into quarters or even halves and place them into a baking dish or my preferred, a baking sheet.
- Peel, quarter, and add an onion to the tomatoes and do the same with the garlic.
- Be sure to spread the veggies flat on the sheet or dish. You don’t have to scatter them but be sure not to overcrowd.
- Add any herbs and salt and pepper. It is okay to undersalt your tomatoes, you can always adjust the flavor after roasting.
- Drizzle olive oil all over the veggie and herb mixture, use a spatula or your hand to ensure that everything is covered in oil.
- Add the mixture to the oven and roast for 45 minutes.
- Once they are finished roasting, don’t worry- I encourage a little charring, transfer into a blender or food processor.
- Blend the tomato mixture until it is smooth. Be sure to add more salt or pepper if needed.
- Return the now tomato sauce to a saucepan or dutch oven and simmer for 40 to 60 minutes. Or you can serve warm as is.
- Ladle some sauce over your favorite pasta and eat up! Now you can brag about making spaghetti sauce from scratch! If you like to add a little sugar to your sauce, go at it! I like to add a tbsp of maple or agave syrup every once in a while.