Pasta Sauce with Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Pasta Sauce with Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

I have arthritis in the first joint of my second finger on my right hand. (Thumb is #1, pointer [aka index] finger is #2, middle finger is #3, ring finger is #4, little finger is #5–now you’ve had your anatomy lesson for the day.)  The joint is getting bigger.  I have been staring at it lately trying to figure out why that particular joint is having an issue.  It finally occurred to me that that joint gets lots of tedious, joint intensive work grasping and twisting endless I.V. and medication related objects.  Cool.  Mystery solved.

I love a good mystery, especially when it comes to food.  Oh wait, except for one food mystery.  I don’t like the “what are we having for dinner mystery”.  That one is just plain annoying.  The food mystery of “I wonder how to make this taste better” is a fun mystery.  I like to solve those kinds of food issues.

Take this simple tomato garlic sauce, for instance.  Using roasted tomatoes and then caramelizing the onions gives this sauce such a wonderful, rich flavor.  Some of you lucky souls out there have fresh, home-grown tomatoes ready to hop off the vine.  Roast those lovelies before you use them in sauces.  I’ll explain roasting tomatoes at the end of this post.  If you are like me, however, and do not have any fresh garden tomatoes of your very own, then you can use a can of fire-roasted tomatoes.  Get a good brand such as Muir Glenn.  It’s worth the extra pennies that you will pay for a quality product.

The seasonings are the next mystery over which you’ll need to come and that one is ridiculously easy to solve as well.

This sauce is light, flavorful, and satisfying; just the perfect thing for a hot summer day.  Serve it with bread sticks, such as Perfect Bread Sticks with Buttery Garlic Topping or Quick and Easy Bread Sticks, and a side salad and you’ve got yourself a very fine meal.

Pasta Sauce with Roasted Tomatoes and Caramelized Onions

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 minute

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 4-6 servings

This pasta sauce is rich and deeply flavored with roasted tomatoes, caramelized onions, garlic, and fresh herbs. Spice it up with a pinch for red pepper flakes.

Recipe by Terri @ that's some good cookin'


  • olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (28 ounce) can good quality diced or chef's cut roasted tomatoes. Roasted tomato puree would also work well.
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon powdered onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes and seeds, optional (it brings a nice touch of heat)
  • 1 package of spaghetti noodles or angel hair pasta
  • grated parmigiano cheese


  1. In a deep frying pan over medium heat, heat about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onions to hot oil. Turn heat to medium low and cook, stirring as needed, until onions are golden brown and translucent.
  2. Add the garlic and cook and stir until garlic is fragrant. Turn off heat source or move pan off of cooking element to halt cooking.
  3. Pour the contents of the can of tomatoes, including juice, into a blender. If using fresh roasted tomatoes, see instructions below. Add the onions and garlic; basil, oregano, parsley, sugar, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper flakes. Blend on medium speed until ingredients are pureed.
  4. Pour contents back into pan in which the onions and garlic were cooked. Cover pan and slowly simmer, stirring occasionally, while preparing the noodles.
  5. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Drain.
  6. Serve with sauce on top of pasta. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. A drizzle of olive is a wonderful addition.
  7. Instructions for roasting fresh plum tomatoes:
  8. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Wash tomatoes. Slice lengthwise. Place on foil covered baking sheet. Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on a middle rack in the oven and roast until the tomatoes have rendered some of their juices and are beginning to caramelize, about 25-30 minutes. Allow to cool somewhat, then put the tomatoes and the juices from the pan into the blender. Continue as above. For more detailed information on roasting tomatoes, please see Making Pasta Sauce.

Now take your plate and go sit out on the back porch and watch the setting sun.  Thank Heavenly Father for the wonderful food you are eating and the beauty of the skies.  Your heart and your belly will both be full and your mind will begin to consider more ethereal mysteries than a crooked finger.


  1. says

    Oh, my gosh! What a beauiful sunset! Your sauce is lovely, too…I love the idea of using homemade roasted tomatoes…YUM!

  2. says

    On days when we get this kind of sunset it baths the rooms in my house with an orange glow. I always go outside to watch everything happen and for a few moments there is peace. Thanks for dropping by. Come on back for a visit any time. ~Terri

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