Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce


Is there anything better than a perfectly ripe, juicy summer tomato? When tomatoes are ripe and in season they are a wonderful reminder of how good simple food can be. It’s a taste of sunshine that, properly prepared, can last all through the year. In summer when tomatoes are cheap and plentiful I like to buy up big boxes of tomatoes at the markets and make delicious Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce.

Slow roasting tomatoes concentrates all their fabulous flavour and can make even the saddest, crunchiest supermarket tomatoes taste divine. It’s so simple too, all you need to do is halve the tomatoes and roast them in the oven together with some garlic, chilli, herbs and olive oil. After an hour they are soft, incredibly fragrant and ready to be blended up into a sauce that is so tasty, I can eat it straight from the jar.

It’s best to make this sort of sauce when you can get your hands on cheap tomatoes, either when your own plants are producing their end of season glut, or perhaps from a farmer’s market where you can buy in bulk. It’s a great way of using up bruised or misshapen fruit too, so keep an eye out for bargains.

Now the best part, how to use Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce? It’s obviously perfect with pasta and makes an amazing pizza sauce. You can thin it out with a little stock and serve it hot or cold as tomato soup. It’s brilliant for jazzing up some plain chicken breasts and is seriously good in a lasagne. I divide mine up into 500ml jars and freeze it until I need it. Fresh, summery deliciousness all year round.

Are you growing tomatoes this year? What’s your favourite tomato recipe? Let me know in the comments below! Take care out there and happy cooking. xJ

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Let me know if you try this recipe in the comments below, or using the hashtag #daysofjay on Instagram. Happy cooking!

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Yield: Approx. 1-1.25 litre
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

Roasting the tomatoes for Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce intensifies their delicious, summery flavour. Make up a big batch when tomatoes are at their best and you’ll have a taste of summer all year round.


  • 2kg tomatoes
  • 2 red chilli peppers
  • 4 fat cloves garlic, skin on
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • fresh oregano
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 100ml fruity olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • small bunch fresh basil (optional)


    1. Heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas 6. Halve the tomatoes and place them cut side up in one layer on a large baking tray.
    2. Tuck the peppers, garlic, rosemary and oregano around the tomatoes, sprinkle over the salt and plenty of ground black pepper. Drizzle over the olive oil and balsamic vinegar and toss gently to make sure everything is well coated.
    3. Roast in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the tomatoes are soft and beginning to scorch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a minute or two. Remove any dried herbs or tomato stems, and squeeze the garlic cloves out of their skins.
    4. Transfer the mixture and all the juices in the tray to a large saucepan, and use a stick / immersion blender to puree to desired smoothness. Taste and add a little salt or sugar if necessary. Stir through chopped basil, if using.
    5. Transfer to clean jars and store in the fridge for 1 week, or freeze in 500ml portions.
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 10
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 125Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 244mgCarbohydrates: 10gFiber: 3gSugar: 6gProtein: 2g

Nutrition information is calculated automatically and isn’t always accurate.


Can I preserve Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce by canning?

You can, though water bath canning is quite scientific and is specific to your altitude, and you’ll need to add acid to the mixture. I’d suggest checking online guides like this one. I generally freeze mine as I am not preparing it for the whole winter.

Can I add different flavours to my Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce?

Definitely! You can take this sauce in any direction you like. Oregano and rosemary will give a Western Mediterranean flavour, spices like cinnamon and allspice are more Moroccan, while cumin, coriander and lime will give a Mexican flavour to the finished sauce. If you’re not a fan of chilli, leave it out.

Can I double or triple the recipe?

Yes! Set your oven onto fan bake at 180°C / 350°F and use multiple trays.

I like a spicy sauce so I throw in a whole chilli. If you’re not a fan of spice leave it out.

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce

Use lots of fresh herbs and garlic for maximum flavour.

Slow Roasted Tomato Sauce


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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food, architectural and landscape photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.
Articles: 213

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