Recipe: Slow-Roasted Tomato Sauce With Whole-Wheat Spaghetti

Way better than anything in a jar!
whole wheat spaghetti with homdmade tomato sauce

The secret to this mouth-watering dish: high quality ingredients and patience. You’ll taste the difference of these slow roasted tomatoes in every bite. Trust us, it’s worth the wait — and not only for the delicious taste!

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Tomatoes are chock-full of lycopene, a phytochemical that has been shown to reduce the risk of several types of cancer; and it’s absorbed better in cooked tomatoes. With nutty-flavored whole-wheat pasta and your lovingly prepared sauce, this is sure to be a family favorite. Buon appetito!


2½ pounds ripe Roma tomatoes
8 garlic cloves
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried oregano)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the tomatoes in a medium-sized baking dish (such as 8 x 11 inches). You want them to fit snugly. Drizzle with the oil and toss. Roast, stirring once about halfway through, until the tomatoes are very tender, about 1½ hours.
  2. Puree the tomatoes and garlic (using a blender or a handheld immersion blender) until smooth. Add as much of the roasted tomato juices as necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Stir in the chopped oregano, salt, black pepper and red pepper. Reheat for serving.
  3. Cook the pasta according to the package directions and drain. Divide among bowls and top with tomato sauce.

Nutritional information (per serving)

Makes 4 servings. (about 1½ cups)

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450 calories, 12 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 15 g protein, 77 g total carbohydrate, 14 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 260 mg sodium

Gluten-Free Alternative
For extra veggie-goodness (and a gluten-free alternative), swap the whole-wheat pasta with spaghetti squash. Cut one whole spaghetti squash in half and scoop out the seeds; lightly brush with 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add a ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper to season. Roast the squash, flesh down, at 450°F for 30 to 40 minutes until cooked. When squash is cool enough to touch, scoop out the strands and top with your tomato sauce.

Nutrition facts per serving for spaghetti squash version: (about 1½ cups) 90 calories, 3 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat, 3 g protein, 15 g total carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 0 mg cholesterol, 135 mg sodium

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Developed by Sara Quessenberry for Cleveland Clinic Wellness.

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