Winter is a great time for extensive cooking projects (lasagna, for example, or veggie burgers). But it’s also a great time to be lazy and just throw some stuff in the oven while you watch Pitch Perfect for the seventh time.
I make sauce on the stove all the time, but I’d never tried roasting tomatoes for sauce in the oven before. I’d also never gotten a recipe to look exactly like the picture in the magazine before.
This sauce is so easy that even all of you who claim you can’t cook can make it—all you have to do is dump your ingredients in a baking dish and put it in the oven. That’s it. Not kidding. This is the ultimate lazy person’s dish, and also the ultimate dish for tricking people into thinking you did way more work.
The recipe as printed in Bon Appetit calls for quite a bit of garlic. I really love garlic, but I still thought it was too much, so my recipe below includes less than they call for. If you’re really opposed to anchovies, you can definitely omit them and not miss too much, but they do add a nice savory-ness (real word) to the sauce.
Oven-Roasted Tomato Sauce with Butter (adapted from Bon Appetit)
1 28-ounce can whole, peeled tomatoes (without added salt)
5 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
2 anchovy fillets packed in oil
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) salted butter, cut into pieces
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
freshly grated parmesan cheese
pasta of your choosing
Preheat oven to 425. Crush tomatoes with your hands as you add them to a glass* 8×8 baking dish. Add garlic, anchovies, butter, red pepper, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine.
Bake tomato mixture for 45 minutes, stirring things up about halfway through; anchovies and garlic should be very soft. Using a fork or snazzier mashing tool, mash up garlic and anchovies and stir to evenly distribute. Add some parmesan and stir. Combine sauce with cooked pasta, stirring until well mixed. Divide between bowls and top with lots more cheese, because cheese.
P.S. This recipe is way more fun to make if you keep pronouncing butter as BUTTEEEEEEH.
*Stonewear is okay, just do not use a metal pan — metal can sometimes react with the acid in the tomatoes and that is not a flavor you want.