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
  • 30 M
  • 35 M
  • Serves 4 to 6
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  • For the roasted tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon medium-fruity extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound large cherry or grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 level teaspoon salt
  • 1 level teaspoon dried oregano (optional)
  • 1 level teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • For the pasta
  • 3/4 to 1 pound pasta, whether spaghetti or linguine or whatever
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, or less to taste
  • 6 heaping tablespoons grated Pecorino Romano, Caciocavallo, or Parmigiano-Reggiano


  • Make the roasted tomato sauce
  • 1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  • 2. 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
  • 3. 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.
  • 4. 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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