Perfecting a delicious, basic go-to recipe for spaghetti sauce has been on my to-do list for a very long time. Nailing that perfect sauce has required a lot of trial and error. It’s not that making tomato sauce is hard, it really isn’t! But it’s taken me an embarrassingly long time to realize exactly what it was I was looking for: Simplicity.
In the past I often over-seasoned my tomato sauce with too many dried herbs, onion, plenty of different veggies, and sugar. Over the years I’ve made a lot of sauces that I definitely enjoyed, but I never made one that felt like the one.
After browsing through ‘Vegan with A Vengeance’ for the millionth time, I read this tip from Isa Chandra Moskowitz:
Pizza sauce is a simple thing, a little garlic, a few herbs. The mistake some home cooks make is overseasoning it with all kinds of Italian spice mixes and whatnot – all it really needs is a subtle hint of herb.”
Even though I’m not making pizza sauce, I figured that this logic probably applies to all tomato-based sauces. The tomatoes need to be the star of the show!
This tomato sauce uses a total of 7 ingredients: A variety of fresh tomatoes (grape tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, orange tomatoes, and romas), a hefty splash of olive oil, plenty of garlic, and a little bit of thyme, oregano, and sea salt. The tomatoes are roasted until they’re fragrant, soft and lightly browned. Simmer them with a little vegetable stock before blending them into a light, smooth sauce.
I love serving this sauce on (unrinsed) whole wheat spaghettini noodles, with fresh basil, vegan Parmesan, and of course, plenty of crispy garlic toast.
- 4 cups chopped tomatoes
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp oregano
- ¼ tsp thyme
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ cup vegan butter or vegan margarine
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- French baguette or loaf
- Combine chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, thyme, and salt. Spread tomatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast for 20-25 minutes. Transfer tomatoes to a medium sized saucepan, add 1 cup vegetable broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes. Blend to your desired consistency (I like to use an immersion blender for sauces.) Serve with cooked pasta and garlic toast.
- Thoroughly combine the vegan butter with the minced garlic. Spread slices of french baguette liberally with garlic butter. Heat a large skillet over medium to medium-high heat. Lay the slices of french baguette in skillet with butter side down, and cook until golden-brown and crisp, approx. 4-5 minutes. Turn and warm the unbuttered side briefly, approx. 1-2 minutes. Makes 8-10 pieces.
Makes enough sauce for ½ a box of spaghetti noodles. Do not rinse pasta after cooking.