Sun-dried Tomato Sauce

by Dawn T in Rouxbe Recipes

A rich and flavorful variation to the classic tomato sauce.

  • Serves: 8 to 10
  • Active Time: 40 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins

  • Comments: 17
  • Views: 32609
  • Success 96%

Step 1: Preparing the Sauce

Preparing the Sauce

To start, first roughly chop the onion. Peel and finely mince the garlic. Over medium to medium-low heat, cook the onions in the olive oil for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Then add the tomato paste and cook another minute or two.

Next, add the crushed tomatoes, whole tomatoes and the sun-dried tomatoes. If the sun-dried tomatoes were packed in oil, be sure to drain them first. Add the pepper, salt, oregano, sugar and balsamic vinegar. Stir well.

Let the tomato sauce come to a gentle boil, stirring often. Cover, turn the heat to low and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally.

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large garlic clove
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 - 24 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 - 28 oz can whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Step 2: Finishing the Sauce

Finishing the Sauce

Once the tomato sauce has cooked, place a few scoops at a time into a food mill. If your food mill has interchangeable plates, use the plate with medium or large holes. Serve.


Although this recipe may not be as quick as opening a can of tomato sauce the effort is truly worth it.

This sauce freezes very well.

Denise P

love it

i do not have a food meal, what is the substitute love the receipe added more garlic, always do love garlic, i like to have a good amount of fiber in my diet and notice that the food meal extracts the fiber, how do you feel about this

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Using a food mill?

Hi Denise,

I love the food mill because I love the texture and resulting consistency for this sauce and many soups. For me, this is an important part to great cooking. True, you are pulling out some of the fiber here but you can get this from so many other sources. As an alternative, you could simply chop things up much finer and then disregard the puree or food mill instructions. You will be left with a rustic (chunky) but equally flavorful sauce. Thanks for the comment.


Denise P

thanks a bunch

thank you so much for your response Dawn. I made this sause this morning, i just love it. thank you

Liz S

This sauce was good. However, I enjoy my oven dried tomatoes ( Rouxbe recipe:)) more on their own and feel they were a bit "lost" in this sauce. I was happy to use an antique food mill I just acquired and pleased to remove the seeds but the Dutch in me rebelled a bit at losing some of the onion and fiber in spite of Dawn's recomendation to leave it in if we preferrred.

Suzanne C

No food mill!

Can I use a passatuto for this recipe?

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Using a Paastuto

A passatuto should work. The holes may make the sauce quite fine. Best to try a bit and see how you like it. Cheers!

Chris M

Tips on buying sun-dried tomatoes?

Hi - I was just wondering if you had any tips on buying quality sun-dried tomatoes? I'm thinking about your advice to not buy canned tomatoes containing calcium chloride. Are there any extraneous ingredients to look out for when buying sun-dried tomatoes? Or - how to determine if you are buying quality sun-dried tomatoes? I've had some that are downright nasty and would like to avoid making the same mistake in the future. :)

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Tips on Buying Sun-dried Tomatoes

Here are some things to consider when buying sun-dried tomatoes:

- be sure to check the expiration date.
- look at the colour, they should be fairly bright red and fresh looking.
- read the list of ingredients, there should be minimal ingredients listed. They should also be low in sodium.
- if buying sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil (which I prefer), try to find ones that are packed in extra-virgin olive oil. I also avoid buying ones that contain other spices, as this is something that I like to control as I use them in a particular dish.
- if buying oil-packed, glass jars are better than cans as the tomatoes tend to have a cleaner more pure taste, with no risk of tasting like the tin. The ones I buy at Costco come in a glass jar and they are great.

In the end it just comes down to finding a brand that you like and then hope that they keep making and selling them :-) Again, the ones from Costco I have been buying for years and I have never been disappointed.

Hope this helps. Cheers!

Pete M

Sun Dried tomatos (dehydrated)

So far I've made this recipe once, and everything was great minus the dried tomatos I used. I had a package of sun dried tomatos from trader joes which are dehydrated. I had all the other ingredients available. The look and feel of the sauce was beautiful but those dried-out tomatos were bitter and over-powering. I was really disappointed.
Perhaps I should have rehydrated the tomatoes, would this have helped? Next time I'll have the proper sun dried tomatos available.

Kimberley S
Rouxbe Staff

RE: Sun-Dried Tomatoes (Dehydrated)

Yes, you could rehydrate them before using but it really comes down to the brand/type of tomatoes. Some are tasty and some aren't so great. Taste them prior to using them and determine how much you think you would like in the dish. Cheers!

Andrew I

penne arrabiata


Could you use this to make a richer "penne arrabiata" with some Italian Sausage meat or is this to strong tasting?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Penne Arrabbiata

Technically, you are free to use this sauce as you see fit; however, it is important to understand that you would no longer really be making an arrabbiata sauce. Just compare the ingredients of this arrabbiata sauce, to this sun-dried tomato sauce and you will see what I mean. Cheers!

Maesan  F

as pizza sauce

hi, can i use this recipe for pizza sauce? thanks..

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Tomato Sauce as Pizza Sauce

Indeed you could use this as a pizza sauce. Cheers!

Debbie D

Great Sauce

I just made this sauce as an excuse to try out my new food mill. It turned out great. Thanks for another fantastic recipe.

Debbie D

Fresh pasta with this sauce

I want to serve this sauce with meatballs over the Christmas holidays while our sons are visiting. I would like to make fresh pasta noodles to go with this and to get my four year old granddaughter involved to help crank the pasta machine (with Papa's help). Also our motive is to demonstrate to our kids how easy it is to whip up a batch of fresh pasta dough.

Will a fresh pasta noodle pair with this sauce? And, if so, what type of noodle would work best?

Dawn T
Rouxbe Staff

Re: Fresh Pasta

Sure fresh pasta could work with this sauce — I would say that something more hearty like a fettuccini noodle would work best as this sauce is quite rich and hearty itself.

Have fun making the pasta — what a fun idea to get the kids involved. Cheers!

You must be a Rouxbe student to ask questions and comment. If you are already a Rouxbe student, please login. Note: Professional certification course students do not have access to this feature. Instead, they have a dedicated Q&A feature built within their accessible course(s). If you'd like access to the content outside of your course, please contact customer service.


Rouxbe Goals

Haven't experienced Rouxbe yet, why not take a free trial to see what the world is talking about.

Rouxbe Students

120,000+ Home cooks that want to learn to cook better (beginner to advanced)
25+ Professional cooking schools as a teaching resource for students
14,000 High school culinary students & their instructors
Training staff from hospitals, grocery stores, hotels & restaurants