We’ve published a few variations on tomato sauce in the past, but this is hands down the best way to make this iconic sauce. The secret is in roasting with the lid off, which allows the top layer to brown.
About 10# tomatoes, any type (heirloom, roma, beefsteak)
1-2 bunches basil, leaves only and left whole
1 head garlic
½ bunch thyme
½ bunch oregano
1-2 hot chilis or 1-2 tablespoon hot red chili flakes, depending on your heat tolerance
2 glugs extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon salt, or to taste
Roughly chop tomatoes, skins on (this is where a lot of their nutrition resides!), cores removed, and add to your largest sauce pot, at least 2 gallon capacity.
Toss in basil leaves. Peel and chop garlic into slices or rough pieces. We like large, visible garlic chunks, but if you want to mellow out the garlic flavor, chop it more finely. Add to pot. Strip thyme and oregano leaves from stems and add to pot whole. Finely chop chili and add to pot, or sprinkle in chili flakes.
Pour olive oil over all ingredients, then sprinkle on salt and stir with a large wooden spoon.
Place in a cold oven turned to 400F. Roast uncovered for up to 4 hours, stirring periodically. Stir after the first hour when it starts boiling, then don’t stir again until the top layer has browned a little bit. Stir this in, brown the new top layer, and repeat until you’ve reached your desired consistency and moisture. The more juicy your tomatoes, the longer you will roast for a thicker sauce.