Roasted Tomato Sauce and Pasta

This roasted tomato sauce with pasta, made with cherry tomatoes that have been cooked to sweet perfection, olive oil, and garlic, is a quick and easy sauce. Break out your finest Italian grating cheese.

A white plate with cavatelli past topped with a roasted tomato sauce, fork on the side

Sugo con Pomodorini Gratinati alla Calabrese. That’s how you say the proper title of this recipe in Italian. Uh, we can’t say that once, let alone three times fast. We also can’t get enough of the namesake roasted tomato sauce.

As an aside, sometimes—and we can’t believe we’re typing this—you CAN have too much of a good thing. Like pasta, for instance. We love it. But we love this roasted tomato sauce that clings to strands of pasta even more. Which means we tend to ease up on the amount of pasta suggested in this recipe, taking it down from a pound to 3/4 pound to ensure just the right proportion of jammy tomato goodness to carb heaven. But that’s us. Be true to you.–Renee Schettler Rossi

Roasted Tomato Sauce and Pasta

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 30 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
5/5 - 2 reviews
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Ingredients

  • For the roasted tomato sauce
  • For the pasta

Directions

Make the roasted tomato sauce

Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).

Coat a large oven-to-table dish (such as a 9-by-13-inch baking dish) with 1 tablespoon oil. Place the tomatoes in the dish, cut side up and quite close together, in a single layer. Sprinkle with the chopped garlic, salt, and, if using, the oregano and red pepper flakes. Bake the tomatoes until they’re quite soft, at least 30 minutes. They should be starting to color around the edges, but don’t let them brown. If you like your tomatoes rather shriveled, figure at least 35 to 40 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the tomatoes warm until the pasta is ready (You can let the tomatoes cool to room temperature and reheat the tomatoes gently in a low oven while the pasta is cooking.)

Make the pasta

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the salt and then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, probably 8 to 9 minutes.

Drain the pasta and transfer it to the still-warm baking dish with the tomatoes. (If the baking dish won’t hold all the pasta, transfer the tomatoes to a serving bowl warmed with hot running water or even a ladleful of the pasta cooking water, and then add the pasta to the bowl.) Gently but thoroughly toss the tomatoes and the pasta, crushing the tomatoes as you mix them with the pasta. Mix in the remaining oil and cheese and toss again. Serve immediately.

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

I am in love! Ladies and gents, file this roasted tomato sauce with pasta under Weeknight Winner® because it is crazy easy and crazy awesome.

There was some mighty fine fresh egg pappardelle at my market, so that was the pasta that had the great honor to accompany these little roasted ruby jewels. I tossed everything in the roasting pan without overflow. I highly recommend tossing the pasta in the roasting pan if you can, even if you have to do it in 2 batches. You'll be getting all the prized bits and the deliciously seasoned oil clinging to the dish.

Please note, I did not use 5 tablespoons of olive oil to dress. I started with 2 and stopped there. You should, too, and add more based on the cut of pasta you've chosen (surface area to cover). Lastly, go for the sharper cheese like Pecorino or Locatelli Romano, and make sure it's grated into dust, not shredded. I will secretly tell you I went back for thirds, but I will justify the action by saying the second helping wasn't really a full helping at all. (Shhh!)

A few testing notes: Halve the tomatoes lengthwise so each of the halves gets a part of the tiny stem and core. I used dried oregano only and the full amount of red pepper flakes. I chose an 8-by-11 inch glass baking dish to roast the tomatoes.

I have great appreciation for a meal that can be prepared quickly on a busy weeknight but that also incorporates fresh ingredients. This roasted tomato sauce and pasta dish really fits the bill. Everybody loved it. There was plenty of flavor in the dish—so much so that no one mentioned the absence of a protein. It was fantastic.

Using the smaller grape tomatoes made it interesting to place the tomatoes in the dish cut side up, but I placed them in the dish snugly to keep them from falling over. The tomatoes filled most of the dish. When the pasta was ready, I drained it and transferred it to the baking dish with the tomatoes. Everything fit into the dish. It was a full dish and took some care to gently crush the tomatoes while tossing the pasta, but it made for a lovely presentation.

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Comments

  1. Delicious with our garden tomatoes! I used fresh thyme instead of dried oregano, and I never used chopped garlic–I find it very harsh and overwhelming. I just smash the cloves with the blade of a knife and throw them in. They soften and caramelize and you can smoosh them into the sauce after it’s cooked. I used a pound of tomatoes, but far less pasta. Maybe 4-5 ounces. That was the right amount and served two people amply with an extra serving for lunch the next day.

    1. It sounds amazing, Suzanne, and I especially love the tip about the caramelized garlic in the sauce. Thanks so much for sharing with us.

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