Saucy Gal

In the kitchen, as in life,  you sometimes come across something so good, that is so simple, you can’t believe that you haven’t been doing it forever slash didn’t invent it.  I had one of those moments when my in laws came to visit and taught me the secret to insanely simple, off-the-charts delicious oven-roasted tomato sauce.

Let me preface the whole next part with the entirely necessary detail that my in-laws are born-and-bred New Jersey Italians, which speaks, if nothing else, to an long and storied collective background of tomato sauce consumption. Say what you want about the Dirty Jers, but the Garden State is swimming in a big, juicy pool of tomato-centric foods, making Jerseyites de-facto connoisseurs of this type of thing. Plus, fresh tomatoes. As the name suggests, they garden. Well, my in-laws do. Bottom line, the sauce is so good, you’ll never want to go back to a jar, and easy enough to make that feasible. Try for fresh, home-grown cherry or grape tomatoes. Yum.

Time commitment: T minus 30 minutes and well worth it

The Vibe: Fresh, DIY, freezer friendly

The must have’s: 

  • Two pints of cherry, grape, or campari tomatoes
  • Four large cloves of garlic
  • Four tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and crushed red pepper to taste

I did a saute pan shortcut version of this for my moussaka post. If you’re short on time, check it out!

The process:

    • Pre-heat oven to 400
    • Grease bottom of baking sheet with two tablespoons olive oil
    • Slice tomatoes in half and place face down on baking sheet
I used a mix of store-bought campari tomatoes and garden-fresh yellow cherry tomatoes.
  • Slice garlic cloves thinly lengthwise and place on baking sheet


  • Sprinkle roughly one teaspoon of kosher salt and drizzle remaining olive oil over tomatoes
  • Place in oven and cook 20-25 minutes until tomatoes become deflated and juice fills bottom of pan
  • Scrape contents into bowl and mix until desired level of chunkiness is achieved


  • Pour over your favorite pasta dish, use in pizza, or just eat as is!


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