Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce
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There is a restaurant nearby that serves a chickpea tagine made with a “tomato jam”, a mixture of tomatoes and sun-dried tomatoes cooked with garlic, parsley and ras-el-hanout, a sauce that binds all of the elements together and gives the tagine both a sweetness and bite.
Thinking about making tomato jam reminded me of this butter-roasted tomato sauce, a sauce I first tried last November but have made several times since. While nothing, of course, compares to fresh tomato sauce, for the effort, this sauce is incredibly tasty thanks to:
- a lot of garlic
- and an interesting method: roasting the sauce (as opposed to simmering), which concentrates the flavor of the canned plum tomatoes.
I find I always have to add a pinch of sugar at the end to balance the acidity, but otherwise, this is a great, easy-to-make, all-purpose tomato sauce. Here I’ve made it with bucatini as the original recipe suggests but I’ve also spread it over pizza.
And I haven’t yet tried this, but Bon Appetit suggests puréeing the sauce with stock and a splash of cream for a simple tomato soup. Sounds promising.Print
Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Total Time: 60 minutes
- Yield: Serves 4
Source: Bon Appetit
- 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
- 8 garlic cloves, peeled, crushed
- 2 anchovy fillets packed in oil
- ¼ cup (½ stick) unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- ¼ to ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch sugar (optional)
- 12 oz. bucatini or spaghetti
- Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Combine tomatoes (crushing them with your hands), garlic, anchovies, butter, and red pepper flakes to taste (note: 1/2 teaspoon makes for a very spicy sauce) in a 13×9” baking dish; season with salt and black pepper.
- Roast, tossing halfway through, until garlic is very soft and the mixture is jammy, 35–40 minutes. Using a potato masher or fork, mash to break up garlic and tomatoes, or, if you live with little people, purée the mixture in a food processor. Taste. Adjust seasoning with a pinch of sugar (1/4 teaspoon or more) if necessary.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta cooking liquid.
- Return pasta to pot and add tomato sauce and pasta cooking liquid (or simply place cooked pasta in a large serving bowl and toss with sauce and a splash of cooking liquid if necessary.) Cook over medium-high heat, tossing until sauce coats pasta, about 3 minutes. Serve topped with Parmesan and more red pepper flakes.
- Note: Tomato sauce can be made 4 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill. Reheat before mixing with pasta.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Pasta
- Method: Oven, Stovetop
- Cuisine: American, Italian
Keywords: butter, roasted, tomato, sauce
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
54 Comments on “Bucatini with Butter-Roasted Tomato Sauce”
Oh my word this looks amazing! Most perfect comfort food I ever did see
It is total comfort food. Lots of black pepper and Parmesan…that is heaven to me
You had me at butter roasted….
Haha, I love it
Love that bucatini shot. Beautiful. This looks delicious!
This looks absolutely stunning. I know what I’m adding to my Menu Plan for next week!
I’ve been making this for a few months now, after seeing it on Bon Appetit. It’s fabulous. I may never make another tomato sauce again.
Wonderful to hear this, Jodi! So simple, right? I love not having to babysit the sauce on the stovetop.
Boy, bet he’s fun at a dinner party!
Haha, oh Laura, I love it! Seriously, I mean, really? That was the last response I was expecting from this post.
I bet he works for Ragu.
Haha, I love it.
I made this tonight for dinner and it was so wonderful! I loved how easy it was and took so little hands-on time. There is something very special about being able to take a few simple ingredients and creating a wonderful dish. I didn’t have any anchovies but I am anxious to try it with them as well. This will definitely be my go-to tomato sauce recipe. Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Your pictures are beautiful as well.
So happy to hear this Janelle! I feel the same way — I feel like no canned tomato sauce recipe I make requires as little effort for such great flavor. Thanks for writing in!
Alexandra- I have been a long time quiet admirer but decided to tell you after reading that comment that I love your blog, your writing, and all your recipes. I look forward to every post. I hold your blog to be FAR from ordinary and continuously inspirational. Thank you! 🙂
Thank you so much for writing in, Chrissy. It means a lot. I mean, I really can just laugh off comments like Gary’s but deep down it still stings a bit — I feel my face turning red and thinking what did I do?! But when I hear from people like you, I am encouraged to carry on. Thank you, really!
This looks like something I can handle! The preserved lemons are a little out of my league, though I love reading about your Moroccan cooking adventures. Always a great read!
I actually have a curious question since I ammaking this tomorrow. How do you clean the glass container…any tips or tricks?
The pan definitely benefits from a nice soak. And it does take some elbow grease to get the caramelized bits off. Do you have bar keeper’s friend? Or bon ami? Those help, too. Hope you like this!
Wow!!!…this is so yummm and perfect! I have to visit this place now. This would be so comforting during cold winters…..
Preeti, we should go to Tara Kitchen together sometime! It would be so much fun. No bucatini there, but lots of yummy vegetarian tagines. I hope you are well!
G’day! I LOVE cooking with Bucatini, true!
Your photos and recipes are GORGEOUS!!! YUM too!
I will spare all my diatribe regarding above hateful and untrue comment and simply say that your presence in my life and kitchen has been nothing short of serendipity….your blog is filled with inspiration, grace, genius and humor. I will be forever grateful to the universe for letting me find it and you…XO
Oh, Laurie, thank you, it means so much. It is always wonderful to hear from you, and I so appreciate you coming to my defense. Big hugs!
I am saddened that someone would use your beautiful blog to hurt you. But remember, Ali, his comment is a reflection of who he is. It has nothing to do with you. Personally, your words inspire me to be a better cook, they challenge me to try new things, they make me laugh and often they touch me when you speak of stories of a family you clearly love. I discovered your blog shortly before my beloved father passed away and I can’t tell you how much it helped me through that time. Because your blog is more than just about food. It is about connecting and sharing, through food, with those we love dearly. Thank you for sharing your talents.
Trish, hi, and thank you so much for your kind words. I did not know that about your father, and I’m glad the blog provided some comfort during that time. It is always so nice to hear from you, and I am so grateful we have been able to connect over food these past few years. Thank you for coming to my defense. Have a wonderful weekend!
Hey super mama! Delete any nasty comments from your blog, and like my mother says just say to yourself “forgive him God, he doesn’t know any better!! ” Then kiss your babies which always gives a good perspective on things, and then come back here and rave about something even simpler, like grated carrots or something! And be proud of yourself for the lovely community you have created here.
And if you want, I can find and send you a proper tagine from over here, they sell them everywhere. Actually I think Le Creuset makes a good one. Anyway, enjoy the weekend and keep posting!! Xoxo
Oh Mama Poule, so much wisdom! And I followed your advice and kissed my babies, giving extras to Wren, who has had a fever for two days…puts it all into perspective for sure. Thank you for your kind words.
And you are too nice to offer to send me a proper tagine, but I will take a look here first before I put you through that trouble. Love Le Creuset, and I think my kitchen could use a little color. I will keep you posted. I’m so bummed to return my two little tagines. They are so cute, but I think the air hole is kind of key. Hope you are having a nice weekend. Thanks for writing in!
I am sad to hear about the lack of hole in your Tagine. I hope a replacement comes soon and I am excited and eager waiting…I haven’t used my Tagine for weeks now…must play with it again soon.
I bought one over the weekend at Tara Kitchen…recipe for chicken with preserved lemon and green olives will be in your near future 🙂
wooohoo!!! Really gotta make those preserved lemons, I have the lemons, I have the jar….just gotta find the time!
yes you do!! Recipe is up! And, yes, time….there never is enough
You did an AMAZING job of pulling me in to read your blog. I had NO idea what bucatini was. I realized it was a noodle from the picture of course.
And then when I see the word butter—-I am off and running like a greyhound chasing the rabbit.
It’s not that common, Carol! I never see it. My mother gave me a beautiful bag, and I just had to use it with this recipe. And you are funny!
This sauce is so tasty and so easy to make. We ate it with soba noodles. I will cook it again, for sure. And I love your posts so much, especially when you write about your children and feeding them 🙂 I also live with ‘little people’ and know exactly what you mean 🙂 Greetings from Poland.
So happy to hear this Ilona! I love soba noodles, too. And oh….the little people! What we do for them 🙂 Thanks so much for writing in!
There were no “words” spoken around our table this evening – only Mmmms and Aaaahhs. Simple yet complex. I didn’t have the pleasure of trying it with anchovies, I am sure they’d add to it nicely… I look forward to playing around with this as a base, throwing in some summer veg perhaps. I bet roasted peppers would be great too…
Your blog and photographs are amazing!
This recipe sounds too good to be true, will give it a shot.
Out of curiosity, do you think I’d be able to get away with canned stewed tomatoes instead of canned whole ones? Or will that annihilate the recipe?
So sorry for the delay here! Thank you for your kind words.
I think canned stewed tomatoes will work just fine. Go for it!
I am wondering if you think something like his might work with fresh tomatoes or how to change the recipe accordingly? I have a glut of tomatoes to put to use! Thank you!
Hi Tori, I think it might! If you check out this recipe for roasted tomato and bread soup, it may give you some guidelines re time and temperature. Good luck!
I am making this recipe tonight! What would be a better vegetarian substitute- olives or capers? Should I roast them with the tomatoes the whole time?
Can’t wait to eat this!
Darn, just seeing this! What did you end up doing? I honestly would have suggested simply omitting the anchovies.
I went with castelvetrano olives- they were pitted and I cut them in quarters the long way. I used Bianco DiNapoli crushed tomatoes (didn’t have whole plum) and so no blending at the end. I had fusilli del buco (the spiral bucatini). The olives are on the mild side, so they while they still added some salt/umami, it was very subtle. What I love about them is their fattiness and that definitely made the sauce lush! A yes to heaps of parmesan on top!
I’ll send you a picture on Instagram. It was velvety, flavorful, and I’m so glad I didn’t need any fresh herbs.
I’m going to try to make a masala base for tikka masala this way- roast the tomatoes, onions, ginger, spices, etc and then blend!
Oh I love this idea! If you love your masala base, please share the recipe 🙂 🙂 🙂 Sounds absolutely delicious.
I doubled the recipe, used 5 cloves of garlic and increased the roasting time to a total of 1 hour. It was delicious!! Family loved it!,
Wonderful to hear this, Donna! Thanks so much for writing!
This was delicious. I did substitute all but 1 tbsp of butter with EVOO. I also substituted the anchovies with 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce. I plan to use it as tomato sauce base for chicken parm.
Yum! Great to hear, Sol 🙂