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!
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.
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.
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 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)
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 F.
- Wash tomatoes, then cut each in half lengthwise.
- Toss tomatoes in olive oil, ground fennel, dried basil, dried oregano, and dried marjoram.
- Put tomatoes on two cookie sheets, cut side down, and scatter half of garlic cloves among tomatoes on each sheet.
- Roast tomatoes about 90 minutes, until skins are starting to shrivel but tomatoes are still quite plump looking.
- Remove tomatoes from oven and let cool slightly.
- When tomatoes are nearly done, heat a small amount of olive oil in large frying pan (big enough to hold all the sauce.)
- Squeeze turkey sausage out of casing, break apart well, and saute until well browned.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- Add tomato juice mixture to browned Italian sausage, scraping the bottom to get all the browned bits of sausage.
- Add ground fennel and dried basil and additional garlic if desired.
- Then simmer sauce at very low heat for 2-4 hours. Stir frequently, and scrape sides of pan each time.
- Simmer until sauce is reduced by at least half, or more, depending on how thick you prefer your sauce.
- When sauce is nearly thick enough, wash fresh basil and spin or shake dry, then chop finely with chef’s knife.
- 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.
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.
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.