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Recipe: Easy Tomato Basil Sauce

My household is probably guilty of the most chronic overuse of jarred tomato sauce.  Spaghetti was my family’s go-to meal when I was a kid (it’s still my father’s favorite dish), and it’s a good go to now.  When I was a kid, the different flavors of jarred sauce offered the only variety that I needed in a meal.  And actually – it still does.  I can be caught debating between Spicy Red Pepper or Four Cheese on a regular basis.  The only problem is that while I love having options, I don’t love having corn syrup, soybean oil, sugar, citric acid or “natural flavors” in my sauce.  Actually, I love natural flavors when they’re naturally occurring.  But I don’t need them added.

Making your own sauce bursting with natural flavors is simple.  I try to make a lot every year and can it so that I have some stored for the winter.  This recipe however, is perfect for a small batch of sauce that can be frozen in even smaller batches.  As always, making this during peak tomato season will yield the best sauce.

Easy Roasted Tomato and Basil Sauce

Serves 5

  • 10 plum tomatoes, halved
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 handfuls basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 400°F.  Place the tomatoes, cut side up on a roasting pan.  Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil over the top.  Sprinkle the dried herbs evenly, stick the whole garlic cloves in a few of the halves and season with salt and pepper.  Bake for about an hour or until the tops start to brown.

Remove from the oven and pour (juices and all) the tomatoes into a deep bowl.  Add the basil and using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.  If you want, you can push through a sieve to remove the pieces of seeds, but in my opinion, that step isn’t necessary.

47 calories ∣ 26 calories from fat ∣ 3 g fat ∣ 0 g saturated fat ∣ 5 g carbs ∣ 2 g fiber ∣ 1 g protein ∣ excellent source of vitamins C and K

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