Canned tomato sauce, you love to hate them, but love them anyways because of the convenience. If you told me 10 years ago that I would be making my own tomato sauce I would laugh at you. For one because I LOVE canned tomato sauce and two because I always pictured an Italian grandmother in the kitchen stewing tomatoes for hours to get deep rich flavor. Yes, making your own tomato sauce is a lengthy process even when starting with canned or crushed tomatoes. This creamy roasted red pepper sauce starts with your basic ingredients, and in only an hour you are left with a velvety and sweet tomato sauce perfect for pasta. The best part it’s 8 ingredients you can pronounce and there is no extra sugar or preservatives. At first taste you are amazed that this sauce developed SO much flavor so fast. Let it sit overnight and it might just become your new favorite sauce.
What You’ll Need for Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- Tomatoes – Roma tomatoes work best, since they have a low water content and are fleshy. However, if you can only find generic “plum” tomatoes buy those! Roma is just one variety of plum. What you want to avoid are super watery tomatoes such vine tomatoes or slicing tomatoes. The higher the water content your tomato has the waterier your sauce will be, hence why plum/roma tomatoes are the best.
- Red Bell Pepper
- Yellow Onions
- Basil – Fresh!
- Red Chili Flakes – Don’t worry this sauce isn’t spicy. The chili flakes balance out the natural sweetness you get from the roasted tomatoes, bell pepper, and onions.
- Olive Oil
Step by Step
- On a sheet pan toss tomatoes, red bell peppers, onions, and garlic generously in olive oil, salt, pepper, and chili flakes. Don’t worry about how everything is cut, it will all get purred later. I rough chopped everything and kept the garlic in the skin to prevent over browning or burning.
- Roast at 425 for 35-45 minutes. The tomatoes and onions will shrivel, the bell pepper will char, and that garlic will become super soft and sweet.
- Once cooled toss in a blender or food processor. If you want to make this even easier dump the tray in the pot you will use to stew this later and use an emersion blender. Everything can go in including the residual juices. Make sure however that you remove the garlic from the skin, and toss those.
- Blend until desired consistency then bring to a pot, add chopped basil, salt, and chili flakes. Now I can’t tell you how much to salt the sauce since everyone has different sodium preferences, but my advice is to start with 2 tsp and go from there, I used 1 Tbsp.
- Simmer for 5-7 minutes and enjoy!
Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
- 10 roma/plum tomatoes cut in half
- 2 red bell peppers rough chop
- 2 medium yellow onions rough chop
- 2 heads garlic broken apart but left in skin
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1+ tbsp salt kosher preferred
- 3/4 cup basil finely chopped
- red chili flakes
- black pepper freshly ground
- Preheat oven to 400°. On a sheet pan toss tomatoes, bell peppers, onions, and garlic in olive oil, 1 tbsp of salt, a few cracks of black pepper, and a heavy pinch of chili flakes (approx 1 tsp).
- Roast for 35-45 minutes until tomatoes and onions shrivel, and bell pepper chars (see image above).
- Add everything to a blender or food processor, making sure you remove the garlic from the skin (discard this). Blend to desired consistency.
- Over medium-low heat add sauce to a pot, add basil, 1 tsp of chili flakes, and salt. Begin with 2 tsp of salt, however add more to taste. Simmer for 5-7 minutes and enjoy!
- If not canning, sauce can be stored for up to 1 week in an air tight container.