Dinner · Healthy · Italian · Lunch

Simply Delish Oven-Roasted Tomato & Basil Sauce

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As a vegetarian and as a lover of Italian food, I eat a lot of dishes with a red sauce base. In fact, pizza is my all-time favorite food, and the first time I made this sauce was almost a decade ago for a family dinner featuring homemade pizza. Now it’s my go-to sauce for pizza and pasta recipes. There are great organic jarred sauces out there to make recipes calling for red sauce quicker and easier, but when I have time, I like to make my own red sauce using fresh ingredients, no sugar, and just a touch of oil. My favorite way to make red sauce is a simple 4-step process; chop, toss, bake, pulverize. It really doesn’t get much easier than this. Vine ripened tomatoes, red bell pepper, and red onion are minimally chopped into big pieces and then tossed with whole garlic cloves, olive oil, and spices. Then everything is roasted to perfection, poured into a food processor, and after a minute tops you have the freshest and tastiest red sauce for anything from pizza to pasta to tomato soup. It seriously doesn’t get much easier than this.

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Oven-Roasted Tomato & Basil Sauce
Serves: 4   Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Ingredients
5 small vine-ripened Tomatoes (about .8 lbs), each cut into 4 pieces
1 small Red Onion, outer layer removed, cut into 4 pieces
1 Red Bell Pepper, seeded and cut into 8 pieces
4 cloves Garlic, kept whole and peeled
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt, fine-grain
1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/4 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flake
10 Basil Leaves

To Make
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large bowl, toss chopped tomatoes, onion, red pepper, and garlic 
cloves with oil, salt, thyme and crushed red pepper flake. Spread the
mixture out onto a baking sheet(s) in a single layer, giving the veggies
some space between each other. 
Roast veggies for 35-40 minutes. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then
add to a food processor (you could also use an emulsion blender).
Pulse the veggies until they become a sauce. Add basil leave and pulse
a few more times, until basil is in flakes distributed throughout the
sauce. 

Serve immediately or use in any recipe calling for red sauce. 
You can also refrigerate or freeze for later use.

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