When your garden is flourishing with tomatoes, this Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce is a quick and easy way to turn them into a delicious, freezer-friendly sauce!Jump to Recipe
I've got a love-hate relationship with garden produce. I love having fresh fruits and vegetables at my fingertips in the summer and freezing it to enjoy in the winter. But when I've had more salsa than I want to admit and eaten my fair share of BLT's, I always go straight to this recipe.
I love this recipe for homemade marinara sauce because it's got simple ingredients and lots of rich flavor, thanks to the roasted tomatoes and roasted garlic! It also uses up lots of fresh garden tomatoes and freezes well so you can enjoy it year-round!
- Tomatoes - You can use about any tomato that's ripe. I'll go into more detail later on about different how different tomato varieties will change the flavor and texture of the sauce.
- Onions - Yellow onions are my preference, but you can also use white onions.
- Garlic Cloves - I like to buy bags of peeled garlic cloves (easy!).
- Olive Oil - You can opt to use vegetable oil instead.
- Seasonings - I keep it really simple with a mix of salt, pepper and Italian seasonings.
What Types of Tomatoes Should I Use for Pasta Sauce?
Though Roma and plum tomatoes are the most common to use for sauce, there are many options!
Roma/Plum Tomatoes: These have a high flesh to juice/seed ratio, which makes them popular when making thick sauces and tomato paste. I like to add a couple tablespoons of sugar if I use these tomatoes so it balances out the acidity.
Cherry Tomatoes: These small tomatoes with a delicate skin and fewer seeds are delicious in a fresh tomato sauce!! The natural sweetness from these tomatoes is the reason it's one of my go-to uses for cherry and/or grape tomatoes!
Slicing Tomatoes: These juicy, large tomatoes are less fleshy and more juicy/seedy than other other options. If I'm using these for sauce, I like to squeeze a little extra juice out of them so my sauce isn't watery. I also like to add sugar to the sauce if I use these tomatoes to help balance out the acidity.
Optional Marinara Sauce Add-Ins
- Sugar - When you're making your own roasted tomato sauce, the acidity level will totally depend on the tomatoes you're using. Adding a tablespoon or two of sugar can help balance out the acid level in the sauce.
- Fresh Basil - I love adding fresh basil (or other fresh herbs) when it's time to blend the pasta sauce. It adds a pop of freshness in the delicious sauce.
- Red Pepper Flakes - My husband and I LOVE a good spicy tomato sauce!!! Adding red pepper flakes is the perfect way to do so!
- Parmesan Cheese - When you're ready to enjoy the sauce, stirring in a little bit of parmesan is SO good!
- Ground Beef or Italian Sauce - I love a meaty pasta sauce!! When you're ready to enjoy the sauce, stir some cooked ground beef or ground Italian sausage to the homemade sauce!
How to Make Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce
First, you'll prepare the tomatoes, onions and cloves of garlic. Core and halve the tomatoes (unless you're using cherry/grape tomatoes), cut the onion and peel the cloves of fresh garlic.
Divide the tomatoes, onions and garlic between two large baking sheets or roasting pans. Then, you'll add the oil and seasonings, toss the mixture and roast. If you have a double oven, I recommend roasting each pan in its own oven. If you bake them in the same oven, that's fine; it may just take a bit longer!
Once the mixture comes out of the oven, let it cool a bit. You can peel off the tomato skin now if you'd like. It should peel off quite easily once the tomatoes are cooked. Discard the peels.
Next, you'll blend it with an immersion blender or in a food processor or blender for a smooth sauce. If you'd like a more chunky sauce, just pulse until it's the desired texture you want.
Give it a taste! If it's a little too acidic for your liking, add a tablespoon of sugar at a time. You can also season with salt, pepper, crushed red pepper and fresh herbs.
It's now ready to serve over your favorite pasta or can be cooled and frozen for future use!
How to Freeze Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce
Let the sauce come to room temperature. Add the sauce to freezer bags or airtight containers. Close the baggies, removing as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 1 year.
How to Serve
When you're ready to enjoy the sauce, you'll want to thaw the sauce out first. Then, heat it up on the stovetop until nice and hot. If it's thicker than you'd like, add a few tablespoons of the pasta water to thin it out to your liking.
If you'd like it thickened, let it simmer for 15-20 minutes to reduce a bit.
Serve over cooked pasta and top with parmesan cheese and fresh basil, if desired!