Basics: Roasted Tomato Sauce

My roasted tomato sauce is very straightforward but it gets maximum flavour out of British tomatoes, especially when the summer’s been as sunless as this one. And it’s very versatile – turn it into a soup, toss it into pasta, use it as a base for other sauces, add it to stews and risottos and chillis.

You can add peeled shallots, if you like, or chuck in some chillies. I keep the flavourings as simple as possible so I can tweak it further down the line. I make buckets full of this roasted tomato sauce for the freezer when we have a glut in the summer and it’s lovely in the winter to be able to pull out a pot.

Roasted Tomato Sauce

It’s so simple I’m not even going to give you quantities. Just put as many tomatoes as you can lay your hands on in a large shallow oven tray (I use the grill pan) without overcrowding them. Cherry tomatoes can be left whole, bigger ones can be halved or quartered.

Heat the oven to 200C/180 fan/400F/Gas Mark 6, season the tomatoes with salt and pepper and drizzle them with oil. Cook for 30-40 minutes until the skins are charring at the edges.

Whizz through a mouli using a medium disc – this is best as it gets rid of most of the skins and some of the seeds but you still get the flavour. You can use a stick blender if you’re prepared to have black flecks in your sauce or to pick out the charred skins.

Taste and adjust the seasoning. Add soft herbs if you like – I often tear up a few handfuls of basil. Cool, clap on a lid and refrigerate. It’ll keep for a few days and freeze for months.

12 thoughts on “Basics: Roasted Tomato Sauce

  1. This is timely and appreciated. Right now I fee like Lucy (Lucille Ball) in the chocolate factory if you happen to know that classic television scene. We are trying not to eat tomatoes more than twice a day. I fear Tomato Ice Cream may be in our future but this non recipe may stave that off.

    • Hahaha, I hear you, Chip! I find it really useful when we have a glut and it really is a lovely thing to have in the freezer in the winter, if you have the space.

  2. Lovely. But France and Spain have spoilt me for British tomatoes. We just don’t have the sun to get that depth of flavour, and nor can you buy vast boxes of them in the market just to turn out recipes like yours. I’m sure your home-grown ones can compete though!

    • I hear what you’re saying although I think in a good year they certainly can compete, especially as we can choose the varieties we grow. We’ve had such a lousy summer this year though and roasting them is a good way to intensify the flavours. Also a form of self defence when there’s a small mountain of them on the kitchen counter. 🙂

  3. I return home from a trip and my feet will be running. Making tomato sauce to getting my boy ready for school. This is very helpful. Thanks Linda. Ps. Photo of tomato bowl looks great.

  4. Lovely. I am roasting like crazy at the moment, adding garlic as well. Am very glad that I switched to a blight-resistant variety a few years ago, as others on the allotment have lost nearly all of their crop this horrible summer 🙁

    • Yes, we lost all our outside ones, fingers crossed for the greenhouse! I see Rachel Roddy posted a roasted tom sauce with garlic today, from her new pasta book. Have you seen it?

      • Will check it out, thanks. Any ideas for overgrown French beans, other than to stew them in aforementioned tomato sauce for three hours?!…

      • Lol! Add to a veggie curry? Steam first then add to a frittata? I’m not a great fan of standard green bean chutneys but they’re good in piccalilli – there’s a good recipe in a NT book which is very good, much less vinegary than most. Not mine to share but can point you in the right direction …

      • Aha, I have the NT Complete Tradional Recipe book which has a piccalilli recipe in! Problem is I can’t stand the stuff and I wonder if my long-suffering chutney-receiving neighbours would thank me…

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