There are so many wonderful tomato sauces in my life – my mom’s, my future in-laws’, my friends’, my favorite restaurant’s and so on. Everyone has their own family recipe that is the “best” right? I personally don’t have “my” sauce yet. I haven’t settled on a recipe. My mom makes sauce each year around this time and cans it so we have homegrown tomato sauce year-round. And I love it! I think everyone loves the sauce they grew up eating. So I often sneak a jar from my parent’s basement when I don’t feel like going to the trouble of making a fresh sauce or if I’m looking for a comforting meal.
We grow several types and varieties of tomatoes here at the farm – regular round, yellow, cherry, Roma varieties and some specialty types like Heirloom varieties. We are generally start picking by mid- to late-July and continue through October. But now is their peak. This is the time to make sauce!
For this sauce I used a variety of types – some regular Roma types, San Marzanos, and some Heirloom varieties. I tried to use tomatoes of similar sizes so they roasted evenly. And you can see in the picture above I cut the stem end out of some of them.
The tomatoes get roasted whole and they are delicious. You get such a concentrated tomato flavor from whole roasting. And that blistering skin is so nice. Save the juice on the tray also in case the sauce comes out too thick.
Maybe you are wondering what the + vegetables means in the name of the recipe? It means we’re putting all of these extra veggies into the sauce! Remember I sometimes like to sneak as many vegetables as possible into one meal. The result is a thick, creamy and full-flavored sauce. You won’t taste any of these vegetables specifically and tomato is still the predominant flavor. But look at all the bonus vitamins you’re getting! And maybe your kids will think they are just eating spaghetti? I don’t have kids so I don’t know if it works but probably worth a try. I’ll try it out on my nieces.
And it’s super simple. You just rough chop all the vegetables, cook them until they are soft and then put them in blender until smooth. The vegetable puree alone was also delicious. Baby food?
Then you just put it all together. I start by transferring the whole roasted tomatoes to the pot using a slotted spoon. I save the tomato juice on the pan to add later if the sauce is too thick. Use a potato masher or pastry blender to crush the tomatoes to your desired consistency. Are you worried about the skins or all those seeds? I personally like having the blistery skins in there and you won’t even notice the seeds once you mix in the vegetable puree. You could also run your roasted tomatoes through a food mill first to get those things out but then you’ll need some extra tomatoes since you’ll lose some volume by doing so.
Once the tomatoes and vegetable puree are well combined, add the fresh herbs and cook over low heat for an additional 15-20 minutes. Just enough time to let the herbs do their thing. And remember if it’s too thick, add some of the reserved tomato juice from your roasting tray/pan. Taste and add some extra salt and pepper if necessary.
The squash and the carrot give it some sweetness and I used hot banana peppers to help balance that some. But you can really use any vegetable you want. I recommend mixing it up and using what you have or what’s in season. The only vegetable I can think of that I wouldn’t put in is probably broccoli.
And for the double bonus I served it over zoodles! So many vegetables!
Whole Roasted Tomato Sauce + Vegetables
- Serves About 2 quarts
- Total Time 1.5 hours
5 pounds medium tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 cloves garlic, minced
Whole Roasted Tomato Sauce + Vegetables
5 pounds roasted tomatoes (from previous step)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 peppers (variety of choice)
1 small zucchini, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1.5 cups butternut squash, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
DirectionsPreheat oven to 400 degrees F. For larger tomatoes, cut stem end out. Place washed tomatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil, salt, black pepper and minced garlic. Place in oven and roast for 1 hour.
In a large sauce pan, warm butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, pepper, zucchini, carrot, celery, squash, salt and black pepper. Mix well and cook for 20 minutes, or until vegetables are cooked through. Remove from heat and allow vegetables to cool for 10 minutes. Add cooked vegetables to blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.
Transfer whole roasted tomatoes to sauce pan over low heat. (I use a slotted spoon to transfer tomatoes and reserve tomato juice on the baking sheet to add later if necessary.) Using a potato masher or pastry blender, gently crush the tomatoes to desired consistency. Stir in the pureed vegetables and stir to combine. If sauce is too thick, add some of the tomato juice from roasted tomatoes.
Add chopped basil and parsley. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot over your favorite pasta. Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.