San Marzano Tomato Sauce and Rustic Vegetables! Picture this—perfectly roasted eggplant (aubergine), Romano peppers, zucchini (courgette), red onions, and sweet cherry tomatoes strewn over a bed of basil-y, garlicky San Marzano tomato sauce. Total summer vibes. Easy to prepare. Super-healthy. And oh so delicious!
- What is San Marzano Tomato Sauce?
- Where Can I Find Authentic San Marzano Tomatoes?
- Recipe Ingredients
- Ingredient Notes
- How to Make Rustic Vegetables on San Marzano Sayce: Step-By-Step Instructions
- Recipe Tips
- More Healthy Side Dish Recipes
- Printable Recipe Card
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Pin Recipe for Later!
This San Marzano tomato sauce and rustic vegetable recipe really highlight the beauty of Mediterranean cooking. With a little love, you can transform a selection of vegetables into a beautiful plate of food. Serve with protein as a crowd-pleasing side dish. Or, enjoy it as an appetizer heaped onto crusty sourdough bread.
What is San Marzano Tomato Sauce?
A San Marzano sauce is a tomato-based sauce made with authentic San Marzano tomatoes. These infamous Italian tomatoes are grown in the San Marzano region of Italy and are considered one of the best varieties of tomatoes in the world.
San Marzano tomatoes have a meaty texture that yields a thicker sauce compared to other canned tomatoes. And thanks to the rich volcanic soil in the region, a San Marzano tomato has a sweet, unique flavor with just the right amount of acidity. A combination that makes for a deliciously balanced tomato sauce with a truly authentic Italian flavor. And one that is fantastic in all kinds of Italian-inspired dishes, such as homemade pizza, chicken parmesan, your favorite pasta dishes, lasagna, and meatballs.
This San Marzano tomato sauce and rustic veggies recipe requires a very simple San Marzano sauce that will become a cozy bed for a selection of delicious roasted Mediterranean-style vegetables.
Where Can I Find Authentic San Marzano Tomatoes?
Oddly enough, there is a knack for buying an authentic can of San Marzano tomatoes. Yep, there are many fakes out there! But, all you have to do is look for the letters “D.O.P.” on the label, which means the brand has an official Protected Designation of Origin quality seal. Then you know you’ve got the real deal.
I recommend Mutti San Marzano Peeled Tomatoes. The flavor is excellent, and you can pick them up at most grocery stores. Rega is also a great brand but a little more tricky to get hold of down at the local shop. However, you can pick them up relatively easily online. Both brands carry excellent San Marzano tomatoes with a D.O.P. seal.
If you’re looking for more delicious tomato-based recipes, try my Tomato Bruschetta for a great-tasting lunch. Or, how about a Summertime Tomato Salad with Basil Oil for a light and refreshing bite? If it’s comfort food you need, then this Homemade Tomato Soup with Basil has your name plastered all over it! But if you’re in a hurry, then it has to be my 10-minute BLT Tortilla Wrap Sandwich.
This delicious San Marzano tomato sauce recipe with rustic veggies comes together with a collection of simple ingredients. If you have a local greengrocer or farm shop nearby for lovely fresh ingredients, even better! Here’s what you’ll need.
- San Marzano Tomato Sauce: Made with a can of quality San Marzano peeled whole tomatoes, fresh garlic, fragrant fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, salt, and a little agave syrup to balance out the acidity; this delicious homemade sauce is simplicity at its best. Don’t overdo the sweetener, though; San Marzano tomatoes are known for their sweetness and low acidity. And because of their intense tomato flavor, there’s no need to add tomato paste (tomato puree) for extra richness.
- Eggplant (Aubergine): Roasting eggplant brings out its natural sweetness and nuttiness while imparting a smoky flavor you can’t replicate through other cooking methods. It also becomes creamy and tender and almost melt-in-your-mouth. Yum!
- Zucchini (Courgette): Zucchini has a subtle flavor and absorbs herbs and spices well. When roasted, it becomes tender and juicy—a nice contrast to the creamy eggplant.
- Romano Peppers: When roasted, red peppers become tender and slightly caramelized, enhancing their natural sweetness. They also add a vibrant pop of color!
- Red Onions: When roasted, red onions become sticky and sweet. So good!
- Cherry Tomatoes: For a burst of juicy sweetness.
- Vegetable Flavor Boosters: A selection of dried herbs and spices, including dried thyme, dried basil, sweet smoked paprika, salt, and pepper (or red pepper flakes), ramp up the flavor of the veggies.
How to Make Rustic Vegetables on San Marzano Sayce: Step-By-Step Instructions
Once you’ve gathered your fresh veggies and basic pantry ingredients together, we can get cooking. Here’s what you need to do.
Salt the eggplant rounds and let them sit for 45 minutes. Prepare your other vegetables and put them to one side in a large mixing bowl. Now we can get started on the San Marzano sauce. Put a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, and add the olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the garlic, stirring continuously for 1 minute until fragrant, but don’t let it brown.
- Simple San Marzano Tomato Sauce
Add the Italian San Marzano tomatoes and salt to the saucepan, then simmer on low heat until the roasted vegetables are ready – about 1 hour from now. Stir regularly to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Chop the basil into ribbons and add to the sauce in the final 5 minutes.
- Season the Vegetables
After your eggplant has sat in salt for 45 minutes, add it to the large mixing bowl with all the other prepared vegetables. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle in the seasonings, and give everything a good toss. Spread the vegetables onto a rimmed baking sheet and bake in a hot oven for 35-40 minutes. Turn once halfway through.
Give the San Marzano sauce a taste to see if you need to add sweetener to balance out any acidity. Then, pour the San Marzano sauce into a serving dish.
- Roasted Vegetables
Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven.
Pile the roasted vegetables up on top of the San Marzano tomato sauce. If you’d like, sprinkle with fresh herbs and enjoy! Great served, either hot or cold, on top of crusty sourdough bread.
Find the recipe card with exact ingredients and full instructions at the bottom of the page. ⇩
- Use high-quality ingredients: Using the best quality ingredients is a must. But I’m not talking about the most expensive ingredients by any means. Choose local produce that’s fresh and in season. Grab a can of San Marzano tomatoes with the D.O.P. seal for the most authentic Italian flavor (readily available in most supermarkets). And if you can, use fresh basil in your tomato sauce.
- Take your time with the cooking process: A slow-cooked tomato sauce equals a rich flavorful sauce. Cooking for at least an hour on low heat will allow the flavors to develop, and the sauce will thicken naturally. Stir often to prevent sticking or burning.
- Your cooking pan matters! I wouldn’t recommend cooking your San Marzano tomato sauce in a metal pan because the acidity of the tomatoes can react with certain metals, like non-stick aluminum, cast iron, or copper, and cause the sauce to take on an unpleasant metallic taste. Instead, use a non-reactive pan, such as stainless steel.
- How to Avoid Your San Marzano Tomato Sauce from Being Too Acidic: San Marzano tomatoes are naturally lower in acidity than a regular can of tomatoes, but they are not entirely devoid. The simplest way to balance acidity is to taste the sauce and then add a touch of sweetener right at the end of cooking if you think it needs some.
NUTRITION TIP: Eggplant (aubergine) is high in dietary fiber, vital for maintaining a healthy digestive system, as it helps promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation. Fiber may also help regulate blood sugar, and cholesterol levels, lowering the risk of certain diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. [Source] Winner winner, eggplant dinner!!
More Healthy Side Dish Recipes
If you’re looking for some more tasty side dishes, here are some of my favorites:
- Easy Roasted Butternut Squash
- Colcannon (Irish Mashed Potatoes)
- Bubble and Squeak
- Sausages Wrapped In Bacon
- Honey-Roasted Parsnips
- The Best Crispy Roast Potatoes
- Herby Potato Salad
Thinking of making this recipe? Share your thoughts in the comment section and provide a star rating! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I always LOVE hearing from you.
Printable Recipe Card
San Marzano Tomato Sauce and Rustic Vegetables
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- Colander & Bowl
- Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 eggplant (aubergine)
- 2½ teaspoon sea salt flakes, divided
- 1 zucchini (courgette)
- 2 Romano peppers
- 1 red onion
- 2½ cups (250 g) cherry tomatoes
- 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 2 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper, freshly ground
- Eggplant Prep: Slice the eggplant (aubergine) into 1.5 cm thick rounds. Place the rounds into a colander over a bowl and sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of salt. Let the eggplant sit for 45 minutes. This will remove any bitterness and improve the texture and flavor of the eggplant once it's roasted.
- Prep Remaining Vegetables: Slice the zucchini (courgette) into 1.5 cm thick rounds. Slice the Romano peppers in half lengthways. Remove the stalks and seeds and then slice in half again. Peel and quarter the red onions. Remove any stalks from the cherry tomatoes. Finally, finely chop the garlic. Put the prepared veggies (except the garlic) into a large mixing bowl, and set aside for now. Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC/gas 6.
- San Marzano Tomato Sauce: After preparing the veg, let's start the San Marzano sauce. Put a medium stainless steel saucepan over medium heat, and add 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once it’s hot, add the chopped garlic, stirring continuously for 1 minute until fragrant, but don’t let it brown. Add the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt to the saucepan. Simmer on low heat for about 1 hour. Stir regularly to prevent the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add the basil in the final 5 minutes of cooking. I like a little texture to my sauce, but if you want a super smooth sauce, you can use an immersion blender. It's all down to personal preference.
- Roasting the Vegetables: After the eggplant has sat in salt for 45 minutes, shake off any excess, pat dry, and add to the bowl with the other prepared veg. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and add the dried thyme, dried basil, smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper. Toss until well coated, then arrange on a large baking sheet in a single layer. Roast the veg in the hot oven for 35-40 minutes, turning halfway through cooking. You're aiming for the veggies to be a bit charred and caramelized in places.
- Taste the Sauce: Taste the San Marzano tomato sauce. Add the agave syrup (or your preferred sweetener) to balance the flavors if it tastes slightly acidic.
- Bring Everything Together: Pour the San Marzano tomato sauce onto a serving dish. Remove your rustic vegetables from the oven and pile them on the sauce.
- Serve and Enjoy! If you'd like, sprinkle with fresh herbs. Delicious, served hot or cold as a side dish or as an appetizer piled on fresh sourdough. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe is incredibly nutritious. As with all things, enjoy San Marzano sauce and rustic vegetables as part of a varied and balanced diet.
This recipe uses canned San Marzano tomatoes which are luckily available year-round. However, if you’d prefer to make San Marzano sauce with fresh tomatoes, they come into season during the late summer months, usually from late July to mid-September. Buying them during their peak season will ensure your tomatoes are at their most delicious.
The San Marzano tomato, which is native to the San Marzano region of Italy, has become a popular variety for its sweet and intense tomato flavor, low acidity, fewer seeds, and meaty texture, making it ideal for sauces, soups, and stews, especially when you’re after authentic Italian flavors.
The San Marzano sauce in this recipe uses a handful of simple ingredients, including extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, canned San Marzano tomatoes, fresh basil, salt, pepper, and a touch of natural sugar.