Roasted Tomato and Leek Sauce / Salsa di Pomodoro e Porro Arrostito

Makes 1 1/2 Cups smooth or 2 1/4 cups chunky

I often surprise myself by taking little detours with cooking techniques and traditions. Such is the case with this roasted no-fat tomato-and-leek sauce. The sauce can be smooth or chunky and dress fresh, filled, or plain pasta.

A favorite combination with the smooth version of this sauce is spaghetti with sugar snap peas and Sardinian feta cheese. Use the chunky version with rigatoni or with orecchiette.


  • 1 1/2 pounds fresh plum tomatoes, washed, cored, and left whole
  • 1 large leek (ounces), white part only, cut lengthwise, washed well, and cut into quarters
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Place the whole tomatoes and the leek (cut side down) on a nonstick baking sheet. Roast the vegetables until the tomatoes are soft to the touch and the leek has begun to brown, 30 to 35 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a food processor and process until a thick, chunky sauce is obtained.
  3. To make a smooth sauce, transfer the pureed vegetables to a fine mesh colander placed over a bowl. Press on the ingredients with a wooden spoon to squeeze the sauce through the colander. Discard the solids.
  4. Transfer the sauce to a large nonreactive bowl and stir in the salt, oregano, vinegar, and sugar. The sauce is ready to use, or freeze for future use.
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