Roasted Tomato Sauce

A stunningly rich and complex taste. Roasting the tomatoes concentrates the juices, and adds all those special extra flavours from the well-roasted, charred bits.

A little more forgiving of supermarket tomatoes than a stove-top tomato sauce, but still – make sure they really are ripe.

Ingredients (if you are tying up your oven for such a long time, go for it – make enough to freeze half or more; you know it makes sense!)

  • 2½lb/1kg tomatoes – as ripe as you can get them
  • 7-8 cloves garlic
  • 3 small onions
  • olive oil
  • herbs (oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, fresh or dried)
  • salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • Optional – a squeeze of tomato puree


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  • Cut the tomatoes in half and lay, cut side up, in one layer in a roasting tin/dish. Chop the garlic and sprinkle evenly over the tops. Peel and cut the onions into 6-8 wedges, and tuck into spaces between the tomatoes. Give a generous sprinkle of salt and black pepper, and sprinkle over your dried or fresh herbs. Drizzle over a good glug of olive oil.
  • Cheat’s note – a wee sprinkle of brown sugar? Shhh – don’t tell.
  • And that’s it – pop the dish into the oven and roast until the tomatoes and onions are well-roasted – with lovely charred edges! It will take about 1 hour, maybe longer.  It will fill the kitchen with delicious meaty aromas.
  • When it’s ready, I just pour into a saucepan, and mash up. You could blitz in a liquidiser or food processor; you could even push it through a sieve to get rid of the skins and seeds … but life’s too short.
  • Powerful and potent flavours – brilliant on pasta, with a sprinkling of fresh chopped parsley or coriander. Or wherever else you use tomato sauce.

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