This is Italian conviviality – casual, relaxed and very inviting. Using three quintessential Italian ingredients tomatoes, aubergines and sweet peppers, this Meat-free Monday pasta sauce is simple and easy.
Reasons to make this Spaghetti with roasted tomato sauce:
If pasta is Sophia Loren’s secret weapon, I’m in.
It’s a quick make-ahead pasta sauce, that’s ideal for freezer meals.
Judging by the vibrant colours, you’re guaranteed heaps of antioxidants.
Yes, it’s an All-in-one oven roasted tomato sauce that offers maxed-out flavour with minimal effort!
Oven roasting intensifies all those deliciously sweet Mediterranean vegetables.
Rainbow coloured vegetables, garlic and oregano are piled onto a tray and drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. Followed by a blast of blistering heat, the collapsed vegetables are scraped into a processor and blitzed together. A sensational tomato sauce with very little effort from the cook. This feast of colour is a real joy to me, especially when I know all this red goodness will be soaked up by pasta strands, to be slurped up by hungry mouths.
I serve my roasted tomato sauce with wholewheat pasta, but there are literally dozens of pasta varieties to choose from, including gluten-free, wholewheat, farro, fresh egg pasta or spelt. Banters can now snap up a pack of prepared ‘zucchini spaghetti’ from Woolworths, which takes the fuss out of spiralling your own. With all these options available, there’s sure to be one that’ll be the perfect fit for you. Clearly, there’s no reason for anyone to pass up on a bowl of comforting pasta?
Spaghetti with roasted tomato sauce
For the roasted tomato sauce (sugo)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, bruised
500g rosa or cherry tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, sliced into wedges
1 large aubergine, skin-on and cut into chunks
1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
2 stems oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon red chilli flakes
salt and black pepper
For the pasta
350-400g wholewheat spaghetti
100g cherry tomatoes, halved
fresh basil, for serving
parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Preheat the oven to 200º C. Line a large oven tray with foil or parchment paper. Spread all the vegetables onto the tray and drizzle with the olive oil. Season generously with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the sugar and chilli flakes. Tuck the oregano under the vegetables to prevent them from scorching. Roast for about 45 minutes until the vegetables are sticky and tinged with colour around the edges.
Transfer all the vegetables into a blender and blitz until you have a smooth tomato sauce. Add approximately 150 -175ml hot water to thin the sauce down slightly. Check the seasoning and adjust if necessary. If the tomatoes are too acidic, add a touch more sugar.
Cook the pasta in plenty of boiling water. Retain at least 1 cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. Pour the roasted tomato sauce into the saucepan and heat through briefly before adding the pasta. Toss to coat, add some of the reserved water to loosen up the sauce and serve immediately with basil, fresh cherry tomatoes and plenty parmesan cheese.