Of all the ways to make homemade tomato sauce, I am such a fan of roasting them as the flavour is just unreal. I decided to make this great staple recipe up to freeze in small batches and use for homemade pizza bases. But it’s also an ideal way to use up all of those gazillion tomatoes that are around at the moment. Both sets of parents have tomato plants and it seems the whole family is trying to off-load their bounty on each other at the moment.
Our two little homegrown tomato plants have gone absolutely ca-ray-zay this summer. So much so that they kind of dominated our veggie patch and crowded out all my sweet little herbs below, so I’m a little relieved they’re finished so I can give some love back to my other plant babies.
This homemade roasted tomato sauce recipe is so simple to prepare, and, gives you a really rich and thick paste at the end. Though this recipe is eventually going to be pizza-bound, there are plenty of other ways to make use of it;
- Folded through gluten-free pasta
- Folded through a simple pasta made from raw, spiralised zucchinis, carrot and daikon
- Cooked with capsicum (bell peppers), zucchini and eggplant in a ratatouille
- Re-heated with a little nut milk and some chickpeas for a hearty winter soup
- As a base for raw, vegan ‘meatballs’ (make them out walnuts, tamari and spices)
- As a base for homemade baked beans
- To spread over crostini, dressed with fresh herbs
There are many cases where foods in their most natural, raw state, win out when it comes to nutrients, as many are heat sensitive. However, tomatoes are perhaps better cooked, as it drastically increases their lycopene content (I say perhaps – as this of course is at the expense of the other goodies it contains).
Lycopene in tomatoes
Lycopene is a super valuable phytonutrient, particularly so for the lads. Lycopene is a fat-soluble, non-provitamin A carotenoid, responsible for the bright red of tomatoes. Food preparation plays a role in the bioavailability of lycopene – and tomato pastes and sauces are better absorbed than fresh tomatoes. Being fat-soluble, a meal with some quality, healthy fats will further increase its absorption (so the little bit of olive oil in this roasted tomato sauce recipe is conveniently, a healthy addition!).
Lycopene is found in high concentration in the adrenal glands, testes and ovaries, and is the most predominant carotenoid in human plasma.Make this homemade roasted tomato sauce, rich in cancer-protective lycopene! Click To Tweet
Lycopene is a well-known, potent antioxidant, and is thought to contribute to a reduced risk of cancer. Several studies have shown that men with the highest levels of lycopene in their diets showed a decreased risk of prostate cancer compared with those who ate the least. These studies found a stronger inverse relationship between dietary lycopene intake and prostate cancer risk for cooked rather than raw tomatoes.
Other food sources of lycopene:
- Pink grapefruit
- Green peppers
- Red cabbage
Of all the above, tomatoes are the richest source.
As I mentioned, I initially intended this sauce to be used for homemade pizzas. We had to get take-out the other night (Thai) and I couldn’t eat it – sooo sweet and salty – it’s amazing how your tastes change when you eat real food. So after that fail, I’ve been trialing a bunch of different recipes out in order to find a quick and fail-proof healthy take out (take-in?!) to have on those Friday nights when you want something a little bit naughty (but not).
I’m fairly confident I’ve nailed a cauliflower and chickpea pizza crust – so pop back next week for the recipe.
Homemade Roasted Tomato Sauce Recipe
- 1 kg tomatoes
- 1 onion peeled and quartered
- 6 cloves of garlic peeled
- 1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 teaspoon paprika powder
- ½ cup loosely packed basil fresh
- 1 heaped tablespoon oregano fresh
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon coconut sugar
- Pre-heat oven to 180˚C.
- Chop the tomatoes in quarters.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the tomatoes with the onion, garlic, sea salt, paprika, coconut sugar and olive oil.
- Transfer to an oven tray lined with baking paper.
- Bake for a good hour and a half, or more. Add the fresh herbs 20 minutes or so before you take them out of the oven, to avoid them charring.
- Once roasted, let cool, then whizz in a blender till smooth.
- Store in a glass jar in the fridge.
GANN, P.H., MA, J., GIOVANNUCCI, E., WILLET, W., SACKS, F.M, HENNEKENS, C.H., & STAMPFER, M.J. (1999). LOWER PROSTATE CANCER RISK IN MEN WITH ELEVATED PLASMA LYCOPENE LEVELS: RESULTS OF A PROSPECTIVE STUDY. Cancer Research, 59(6), 1225-30. RETRIEVED FROM HTTP://WWW.NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV/PUBMED/10096552
GIOVANNUCCI, E., RIMM, E.B., LIU, Y., STAMPFER, M.J., & WILLET, W.C. (2002). A PROSPECTIVE STUDY OF TOMATO PRODUCTS, LYCOPENE, AND PROSTATE CANCER RISK. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, 94(5), 391-389. DOI: 10.1093/JNCI/94.5.391
MURRAY, M.T. (2013). BETA-CAROTENE AND OTHER CAROTENOIDS. IN J.E. PIZZORNO & M.T. MURRAY (EDS). TEXTBOOK OF NATURAL MEDICINE (4TH ED. PP. 602-610). MISSOURI: CHURCHILL LIVINGSTONE
MURRAY, M., PIZZORNO, J., & PIZZORNO, L. (2005). The encyclopedia of healing foods. NEW YORK: ATRIA BOOKS