This is what you've been waiting for: A sauce that can be made with fresh or frozen tomatoes that doesn't require any peeling or seeding--you don't even need to cut them up! Just toss the whole tomatoes in a pot with some onion, garlic and seasonings and let your oven do all the work. Cooking the vegetables low and slow breaks everything down to a rich flavorful base. A quick hit with a blender makes the sauce rich and smooth, without adding a bit of cream. It’s so delicious you’d never guess how easy it is.
Add the tomatoes, olive oil, oregano, garlic, onion, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and the red pepper flakes to a large Dutch oven or oven-safe pot with a lid. Stir so that everything is coated in oil and spices. Roast in the Dutch oven, uncovered, until the tomatoes start to soften and split, about 1 hour.
Stir and flip the tomatoes, then cook until the tomatoes, garlic and onion are all browned and very soft, about 1 hour more. At this point everything should be easily smashed with the back of a spoon. Transfer the pot to the stove and keep covered.
While the tomatoes finish roasting, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons salt and the pasta. Cook 2 minutes less than package instructions. Reserve 1 cup pasta water and drain the pasta.
Add 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the cooked tomatoes and carefully blend with an immersion blender, tipping the pot slightly if necessary to fully submerge the blender (or transfer to a regular blender) and blend until smooth. Bring the blended sauce to a simmer over medium-high heat, then add the drained pasta and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Adding more pasta water if the mixture needs to be saucier. Serve warm with a few basil leaves and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes.
Tools You May Need
When blending hot liquid, first let it cool for five minutes or so, then transfer it to a blender, filling only halfway. Put the lid on, leaving one corner open. Cover the lid with a kitchen towel to catch splatters, and pulse until smooth.
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