Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce | December 27, 2010

 Here is the recipe for Thomas Keller’s tomato sauce, to go with the meatballs.  Do keep in mind that this sauce will come out VERY viscous – so viscous, in fact, that I ended up thinning it out with a little bit of my homemade marinara sauce.  I think the thicker sauce would be great for a meatball appetizer, but for a pasta dinner, I wanted a little more to sop up.

Otherwise, the flavor of this sauce is incredible – so concentrated and zippy!

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup minced leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 1 cup finely chopped fennel
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Two 28- to 32-ounce cans San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 garlic clove

Lay out a 7-inch square of cheesecloth.  Put the bay leaf, thyme, peppercorns, and garlic near the bottom of the square and fold the bottom edge up and over them.  Roll once, tuck in the two ends of the cheesecloth, and continue to roll.  Tie the cheesecloth at both ends with kitchen twine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the oil, onion, leeks, and garlic in a large ovenproof Dutch oven or a baking dish and sprinkle with salt.  Put in the oven and cook for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the vegetables are tender and beginning to caramelize.

Stir in the brown sugar and vinegar and return to the oven for another 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed.  Remove from the oven.

Meanwhile, drain the canned tomatoes and remove the seeds.  Coarsely chop half the tomatoes.  Puree the other half in a food processor.

Add the tomatoes to the vegetables along with the herb packet (satchet), season with salt and pepper to taste, and return to the oven for 1 1/2 hours, stirring every 30 minutes.  The sauce should be thick and have a full, rich flavor.  Run the side of a spoon through the sauce – if it runs back together immediately, it is too thin.  Return it to the oven and cook until thickened.

Discard the satchet and let the sauce cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate in a covered container for up to 1 week.


  1. […] Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce […]

    Pingback by Recipe: Meatballs with Pappardelle « Trouble With Toast — December 27, 2010 @ 1:43 pm

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    Pingback by Recipe: Pan-Roasted Duck Breasts « Trouble With Toast — February 28, 2011 @ 5:27 pm

  3. I’m unclear on whether the tablespoon of garlic goes in the sachet and the teaspoon of garlic in with the veggies and oil, or vice versa. Maybe split 2 tsp each?

    Comment by Tianna Quezara — January 18, 2015 @ 11:58 am

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