It’s tomato season! For those in the north, summer is peak time for tomatoes—for those of you in warmer locales, it may be the tail end of the season, but wait a few months, and they’ll be back. Best way to used excess tomatoes from your garden or bulk tomatoes on sale for the season? Roast ’em up and make an easy, basic tomato sauce to use now or freeze for another time.
I wanted to keep this pretty straightforward: just tomatoes, olive oil, salt, and pepper. You can add roasted garlic and fresh basil if you want, but I prefer to add those fresh later on for a semi-homemade feel. I also like to use this base for tomato soup on chilly nights when fresh tomatoes are in short or not-as-tasty supply or add it chili or sauté it with chickpeas and vegetables. Basic seasoning keeps your options open.
In an effort to reduce my waste, I use glass pans to keep the tomatoes from sticking too much. You can also use compostable parchment paper or foil—which you can clean off, reuse, or recycle.
Once the sauce is pureed, pour it into freezer-safe jars. Make sure to leave about one to two inches of space at the top to account for any remaining water expanding in the freezer. You can also store the sauce in your fridge for a few days if you plan on using it soon.
I recommend roasting and freezing as much sauce as you can—even if that means buying in bulk from the store when price is amenable. The cost of pasta sauce even at a seemingly low $3 a jar can add up, not to mention the multitude of glass jars. While having a few large, empty jars around can be useful for various projects, they can quickly reach critical mass in your cabinets.
Why not just remove them from the equation, use what you have, and make your own tomato sauce? It’s easy and genuinely satisfying.
Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Tomatoes of any variety—large small, anything goes!—and in any amount.
- Olive Oil
- Sea Salt
- Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- Glass or other baking pan
- Freezer-safe storage
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
- Slice up tomatoes into roughly one-inch pieces. Cherry tomatoes can be sliced in half if you want, but larger tomatoes should definitely be cut down.
- Places tomatoes face up in a glass baking pan. If you only have a metal pan, use parchment paper or foil to keep tomatoes from sticking. The tomato pieces can touch, but don't let them overlap too much.
- Drizzle olive oil over top.
- Season with salt and black pepper to taste.
- Oven roast for 45-55 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool.
- Spoon roasted tomatoes into a blender.
- Blender on low-to-medium high under your desire texture is reached.
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