Kalyn's Kitchen

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil

This Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil gets maximum tomato flavor from roasting the tomatoes before they’re used in the sauce! 

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Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Pasta Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Yesterday I revisited my time-honored recipe for Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce and then confessed I’d been experimenting a bit with a different tomato sauce recipe this year. On another blog (that no longer exists) I read how this blogger roasted the tomatoes before she made the sauce, and I smacked myself in the forehead and said “duh.” Nothing concentrates tomato flavor like roasting does, so sauce made from roasted tomatoes would have to be good. Once I’d committed to that step, there was no turning back. And this blogger used a food mill, so of course, I had to have one.

Was this Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil good enough to be worth the extra effort of roasting the tomatoes and putting them through the food mill, compared to a sauce made with partly canned tomatoes? Absolutely it was; this was without doubt the best sausage and basil sauce I ever made. That doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with my usual Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce, and if you don’t have a food mill or you’re short on fresh tomatoes, you should just happily make that sauce and eat it all up. But if you’d like to try my new, kicked-up sauce with roasted tomatoes, sausage, and basil, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Pasta Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Start with the freshest, vine-ripened Roma tomatoes you can find to make this sauce. I had a whole kitchen sink full of tomatoes the day I tested this recipe! Cut tomatoes in half, then toss with olive oil, basil, oregano, marjoram, and ground fennel. (You can use any herbs you like, but I used the same herb mixture I love on Slow Roasted Tomatoes.) Roast the tomatoes with a generous handful of garlic cloves. I roasted my tomatoes at 350 F for about 90 minutes.

Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Pasta Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Remove tomatoes from the oven, then pulse about 2 cups at a time very briefly in the food processor before putting them through the food mill. (At first I didn’t do that, but I found it released a lot more juice if the tomatoes were broken up a little before they went in the food mill.) Put tomatoes through food mill, with a pan underneath to catch all the liquid sunshine that comes through.  While you’re processing tomatoes, heat frying pan with a small amount of olive oil, then squeeze Italian sausage out of the links and brown well. I used hot turkey Italian Sausage but use any Italian sausage you prefer. When sausage is brown, add tomato juice and start to simmer on low. I added just a bit of dried basil and ground fennel seed to this mixture. Simmer 2-4 hours, until sauce has thickened and concentrated. Stir in finely chopped basil the last five minutes of cooking time.

More Ideas with Roasted Tomatoes:

Easy Roasted Tomatoes and Shrimp with Fennel, Oregano, and Feta ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen
How to Make Slow Roasted Tomatoes ~ Kalyn’s Kitchen

Weekend Food Prep:

This recipe has been added to a new category called Weekend Food Prep  to help you find recipes you can prep or cook on the weekend and eat during the week!

Roasted Tomato, Italian Sausage, and Basil Pasta Sauce found on KalynsKitchen.com

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil

Yield 4 cups
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour

Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil gets maximum tomato flavor from roasting the tomatoes before they're used in the sauce! 


Roasted Tomato Ingredients

  • 50 vine-ripened Roma tomatoes

To Season Tomatoes before Roasting

  • 2 T olive oil
  • 2 T ground fennel
  • 4 T dried basil
  • 2 T dried oregano
  • 2 T dried marjoram
  • about 1 cup peeled garlic cloves (You can use any combination of herbs you like, but don’t skip the fennel)

Sauce Ingredients

  • one 19.5 oz. package hot Turkey Italian Sausage
  • additional olive oil
  • 2 tsp. ground fennel
  • 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1 T chopped fresh garlic (optional, I did not add more garlic)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil


  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Wash tomatoes, then cut each in half lengthwise.
  3. Toss tomatoes in olive oil, ground fennel, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried marjoram.
  4. Put tomatoes on two cookie sheets, cut side down, and scatter half of garlic cloves among tomatoes on each sheet.
  5. Roast tomatoes about 90 minutes, until skins are starting to shrivel but tomatoes are still quite plump looking.
  6. Remove tomatoes from oven and let cool slightly.
  7. When tomatoes are nearly done, heat a small amount of olive oil in large frying pan (big enough to hold all the sauce.)
  8. Squeeze turkey sausage out of casing, break apart well, and saute until well browned.
  9. Put food mill over a large sauce pot and fit with disc with smallest size holes, then place next to food processor on the counter so tomatoes can be easily transferred from food processor to food mill.
  10. Using a food processor with a steel blade, add about 2-3 cups of tomatoes at a time and pulse about 15 seconds, just long enough to slightly break up tomatoes.
  11. Then transfer tomatoes to food mill and turn handle until all juice has been released from tomatoes and only skin, dry pulp, and crushed garlic remains. (Discard skin, pulp, and garlic cloves, then repeat until all tomatoes have been processed.)
  12. Add tomato juice mixture to browned Italian sausage, scraping the bottom to get all the browned bits of sausage.
  13. Add ground fennel and dried basil and additional garlic if desired.
  14. Then simmer sauce at very low heat for 2-4 hours. Stir frequently, and scrape sides of pan each time.
  15. Simmer until sauce is reduced by at least half, or more, depending on how thick you prefer your sauce.
  16. When sauce is nearly thick enough, wash fresh basil and spin or shake dry, then chop finely with chef’s knife.
  17. Add chopped basil to sauce and simmer 5 minutes.


Equipment needed: You will need 2 large cookie sheets for roasting tomatoes, a food processor and a food mill to make this sauce. I use a Cuisinart DLC-10 (affiliate link), and  a simple food mill (affiliate link).

Sauce can be refrigerated for about a week or frozen for months if placed in tightly sealed containers.To use, reheat gently on stovetop, and serve hot over pasta shape of your choice. This will keep in the fridge for a few days and also freezes well.

For nutritional information 1/2 cup of sauce is considered to be a serving.

Recipe created by Kalyn with inspiration from Sausage and Basil Marinara Sauce.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 293Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 67mgSodium: 509mgCarbohydrates: 23gFiber: 6gSugar: 11gProtein: 23g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated by the Recipe Plug-In I am using. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee 100% accuracy, since many variables affect those calculations.

If you make this recipe I'd love to hear how it turns out. Leave a star rating or share on social media with the hashtag #KALYNSKITCHEN, thanks!

Low-Carb Diet / Low-Glycemic Diet / South Beach Diet Suggestions:
Tomatoes aren’t especially low in carbs, but if you use a moderate amount of this sauce over something low-carb like zucchini noodles this would be approved for most low-glycemic or low-carb diets, including any phase of the South Beach Diet. South Beach would prefer lower-fat turkey Italian sausage, and other low-carb plans might like pork sausage instead.

Find More Recipes Like This One:
Use Sauces to find more recipes like this one! Use the Diet Type Index to find recipes suitable for a specific eating plan. You can also Follow Kalyn’s Kitchen on Pinterest to see all the good recipes I’m sharing there.

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    17 Comments on “Roasted Tomato Pasta Sauce with Italian Sausage and Basil”

  1. JoAnn, I realized I didn't say in the recipe that the sauce can be frozen so I just added that.

  2. JoAnn, I'm not a canner so I can't even given an opinion about whether it will work, sorry. You can definitely freeze the sauce though.

  3. I have roasted tomatoes before and love the flavor. I would like to know if you have tried canning this sauce with or without the sausage?

  4. Hi Mike. Glad you're enjoying the sauce. Roma tomatoes are more meaty (less watery) than other tomatoes so if you use a mix you might need a few more tomatoes and/or have to cook it down longer, but I'm sure it will still be good!

  5. Kalyn, I love your site. I have spent way to much time looking at all you have on it!
    For this sauce, do you have to use Romas? I guess I would like to use a combination of tomatoes. I have never roasted tomatoes before. Thanks for your help.

  6. Hi Carl, questions like this are why I have notebooks where I write down every recipe when I test it, but this is also the type of recipe that can be made to taste, and I like a lot of herb flavor in a sauce like this. So yes, I did use those large amounts of herbs, but that was for the 40-50 tomatoes the recipe specifies (two big trays of roasted tomatoes.) You only need a tiny bit of olive oil to make the herbs stick. I don't think seasoning sticking to the non-skin side is a problem.

    Did you reduce the sauce 2-4 hours like the recipe says? I cooked this down to a very thick sauce (since you can always add water when you use it, and I'm always short on freezer space!) I was using romas from my garden which might also be smaller than ones from the market. Other than that, I don't know why your sauce made a lot more, but if you like the flavor if it, doesn't seem like a problem.

    I would probably use all the garlic, but I like strong flavors. Glad you liked the recipe.

  7. Kalyn,

    I made this recipe the other
    day and it was amazing! I used
    a portion of it for 3 guests
    and myself. The rest I froze
    and I can't want to tap into
    it some cold winter night.

    A couple of questions:

    1. Above it say it makes 4 cups
    of sauce. I used about 30 tomatoes
    and it made much more than 4 cups
    of sauce. Is this a mistake?

    2. The seasoning combination
    before roasting calls for only
    2 Tbls of olive oil to be combined
    with 10 Tbls of herbs. Is this

    3. When I was tossing my halved tomatoes
    with the seasoning, I was having a problem
    with too much seasoning clinging to the
    non-skin side. I guess it all came out
    fine, but I was curious if you had any
    comments on that.

    4. I did not have a food mill, so I had
    to de-seed and skin all the tomatoes by
    hand. A long process and I am sure I lost
    a lot of good tomato bits in the process.
    I then put the tomatoes along with about
    8 of the roasted garlics into a food processor
    before I started the long cooking process.
    I did not want to put all the garlic in
    because I thought it might be too powerful.
    However, I felt bad that I was wasting
    a lot of great roasted garlic. I am guessing
    that the mill would have solved this

    5. In the last step, I omitted the dry
    herbs since I was using less tomatoes
    that the recipe called for.


  8. Karen, so glad you liked it. I think the fennel is really a great addition!

  9. Kalyn…I made this sauce yesterday. It was amazing – I could probably have drunk the juice straight out of the food mill. I never thought I liked fennel and hesitated a bit before using it on the tomatoes. But I’m glad I listened to you!!! The smell while everything was roasting in the oven was delicious.

    I did make a change to the garlic…I just sliced the top off of a head of garlic, drizzled with olive oil and wrapped it in foil. After it came out of the oven, I squeezed the soft, mushy garlic in with the tomatoes.

  10. What great photos!! It looks like the food mill process was well worth it!! The sauce looks great!

  11. Kelly, this sauce was amazing.

    Karina, that would work too. I love the food mill though! (Of course you know me, I love kitchen gadgets.)

    Katie, I’m thinking of other things besides pasta I could eat it on alredy, but it would be fantastic on pasta too. Or plain!

    Kevin, me too!

    Anh, thanks. I’ll have to look for it. Sounds interesting.

    Christa, great idea. I’ll try that next time (which will be tomorrow, since I have another big batch of tomatoes that I picked yesterday!)

  12. Kalyn,
    Don’t you just love the food mill?
    Glad to hear you tried out my recipe. Your version looks fantastic. I want to try the sauce now with ground fennel in it. And sausage, too!

    One tip is that I usually cut the tomatoes into smaller pieces before roasting them. That makes it easier to go right from the oven to the food mill, without the food- processing step.


  13. Kalyn, what a fantastic recipe! You know I love tomatoes, so I cant wait to try this out.

    Also, I have added a note explaining what verjuice is. Basically, it’s the juice from unripe grapes. It has a sourness flavours, which is lighter than most vinegar. Really good for poaching and making salad. You should try it! 🙂

  14. Another great looking tomato sauce! Roasted tomato sauces are one of may favorites.

  15. Your new food mill is very pretty – almost as pretty as the sauce. That really has my mouth watering… I suppose it’s meant to go on something but I could eat it right out of the pan!

  16. Kalyn – Your sauce looks divine. I don’t have a food mill, so I would probably just do it all in the Cuisinart (I’ve done this before, with my quickie sauces). Thank you for posting such a beautiful recipe – and thanks, also, for the link!

    You’re a peach! 🙂

  17. Mmmm, more sauces. I bet the roasting adds a whole other level of flavor though.