Tomato basil sauce is the perfect way to utilize all these late summer tomatoes and basil by oven roasting the tomatoes, garlic, onions, basil, and olive oil before pureeing the roasted vegetables into the sauce. The aroma of the vegetables roasting in the oven was what I imagine Italian kitchens smell like all the time. Roasted tomato basil and garlic sauce is perfect for pasta but also for marinara dipping sauce, pizza, and any time you are needing a red sauce.
This homemade spaghetti sauce with fresh tomatoes is fairly simple to make. The most complicated part is really prepping the tomatoes and the time-consuming part is really the oven time. However, the flavorful sauce at the end made the work and time all worth it.
What Do You Need to Make Roasted Tomato Basil Sauce?
The majority of ingredients for this recipe can all be grown in your garden. However, I am more of an herb and tomato gardener. I have grown my own garlic and onions before, but now just leave that to the professional gardeners.
To make this homemade roasted tomato sauce you will need the following ingredients:
- Olive Oil
- Salt and Pepper
- Balsamic Vinegar
How to Make Homemade Tomato Sauce?
To make this sauce, you will start with the tomatoes. I have found smaller tomatoes like Romas. They have fewer seeds and less juice allowing for a denser, richer sauce. Begin by cutting the tomatoes in quarters and removing seeds. I do this over a mesh wire strainer to separate the seeds from the juice.
Place the seeded tomatoes in a big roasting pan like a lasagna pan. I can easily fit 25-30 Roma tomatoes in the roasting pan. Then add the peeled garlic and roughly chopped onions to the pan. Break some basil leaves off your plants and place them in the pan. Then pour the juice that was separated from the seeds over the top. Finally, top off with salt, pepper, and olive oil. Give the combination a stir to get the tomatoes coated in the oil, salt, and pepper.
Bake the tomatoes at 400° for 45 minutes. Stir the tomatoes halfway through the cooking time. Continue to cook until the tomatoes, onions, and garlic begin to caramelize around the edges. The pan will be fairly full of liquid. Let the pan sit and cool off a bit. A ten-minute set on the stage will allow for it to be easier to handle. Pour off about a cup of the liquid and then move to your blender or food processor.
When pouring this hot saucy mix, be careful not to overflow. Meaning, leave at least an inch or more at the top. Hot liquid expands. Learn from my freaking explosive, seeping mess, leave room in the processing bowl. Then use a medium speed and puree this mixture. Taste for saltiness. Then add a tablespoon of balsamic vinegar. Blend on more time.
Continue doing this until your roasted tomatoes are all sauce. Let the sauce sit for an hour and bag up in freezer bags.
Tips for Making Homemade Tomato Sauce
- Smaller tomatoes actually work better than larger tomatoes used for slicing. Romas have the least amount of juice but I also have used early girl tomatoes too.
- If you don't like garlic, don't add it. Want really garlicky sauce? Add more to the pan or sauce.
- The peels from the tomatoes may be floating around in the pan, feel free to pick them out, but I also don't feel it necessary to take the peels out.
- If you like a soupier sauce, don't pour off the liquid from the pan.
- Other vegetables like green peppers or mushrooms could easily be added to this recipe too for even more garden bounty usability.
Homemade Tomato Basil Sauce
- 25-30 Roma tomatoes
- 1 sweet onion
- 8 garlic cloves
- 15 basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Wash and stem tomatoes. Cut the tomatoes into quarters and remove seeds over a mesh strainer. Reserve the juice.
- Place the tomatoes in a big baking dish or 9 x 13 pan. Add roughly chopped onions, peeled garlic, and basil leaves to the pan.
- Pour the reserved tomato juice over the tomatoes, onion, and garlic. Sprinkle all with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat all the tomatoes.
- Roast at 400° for 45 minutes, stirring halfway through the cooking time. Remove and cool for about 10 minutes.
- Drain about a cub of the liquid off and then pour the remainder in batched to a food processor. Be sure to leave an inch in the processor bowl. Blend to a fine texture. Add balsamic vinegar. Blend one more time.
- Taste for your desired saltiness. Add more salt if needed.
- Serve immediately or freeze in freezer bags.