Roasted Tomato Sauce

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce

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This tomato sauce is not your average Neapolitan jar-sauce; it’s incredibly concentrated in flavour and so versatile! Vegetarian? No problem, simply omit the anchovies! Can’t handle heat? Just leave out the chilli flakes. But I only have diced tomatoes in the pantry! Feel free to use them instead and add a handful of olives or a teaspoon of capers while you’re at it.

This sauce is lovely on pizzas, it’s great as a dipping sauce to accompany finger food or try using it as a poaching liquid for fish fillets. You won’t be disappointed by this fool-proof recipe.

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 800g tinned whole tomatoes (best quality available)
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1 bunch basil
  • Peppercorns, freshly ground
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan to serve

Pre-heat an oven to 210 degrees.

Cut the butter into small 1cm cubes. Crush each garlic clove under the flat side of a chef’s knife, then peel and remove the skin off the garlic. Roughly chop the anchovy fillets.

Open and decant the tinned tomatoes into a large baking dish (a lasagna dish works perfectly for this recipe), and use a fork or your hands to roughly crush each tomato. Scatter the garlic, butter, chopped anchovies and red chilli flakes evenly over the tomatoes. Season everything generously with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Nestle 3/4 of the bunch of basil into the middle of the dish, making sure that the herbs are submerged under the tomato juices.

Place the tomatoes into the preheated oven for 30 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven and give everything a good stir, then place the dish back into the oven for another 30 minutes.

Remove the tomatoes from the oven and leave them to cool slightly. Once cooled, remove the basil and use a fork to mash everything up into a chunky sauce. Taste the sauce once you have mashed it to your desired consistency and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

This sauce works well with any type or strand of pasta. Simply cook your pasta to al dente, drain the pasta, then toss or stir the sauce into the cooked pasta until everything is evenly combined. Top with Parmesan and the reserved basil leaves.

This sauce is delicious and incredibly concentrated in flavour. We recommend thinning it out slightly by incorporating 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking liquid into the pan as well before tossing.

This sauce will keep for 4-5 days in the fridge, stored in an air-tight container.

But why stop there?

If you want to take your sauce to the next level try adding some minced meat and turn your meal into bolognese. Just lightly brown your choice of minced meat in a lightly oiled pan. Then add the roasted tomato sauce along with some stock, water or wine until the it has loosened slightly and reached your desired consistency. 

What about wine?

In the mood for a white?

For a classic Italian tomato sauce such as this, we recommend pairing it with an Italian white like fiano or vermintino. Something to handle the acidity of the tomatoes, the salty kick of the anchovies, and the lingering heat of the chilies.

Or perhaps a red…?

For those red wine lovers out there, chianti is a great option. Made from the famous Sangiovese grape in the Chianti region of Tuscany, this wine has the perfect structure to handle all the richness, acidity and spice of this dish without overpowering it. Alternatively, nero d’avola is a beautifully fruity grape with plum and berry fruits and enough crisp acidity to take on this dish.

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