Behold, the bowl of spaghetti I made the other day! But this is no mere spaghetti sauce from a jar. This is super simple roasted marinara sauce that will blow your mind. There are barely any ingredients. The main ingredient is time.

Here’s what you’ll need! (And yes, omnivores, you can totally adapt this to use the original not-plant versions of things like meatballs and parmesan. I’m not here to proselytize you.)

2 28 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes w/ basil*
1/2 head of garlic
2-3 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano

1 lb your choice of pasta**
Fresh basil
Parmesan cheese***

Meatballs****

13x9 glass baking dish
kitchen shears

* I use Trader Joe’s unsalted whole plum tomatoes w/ basil, but if using plain tomatoes, add 1 tsp dried basil

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** I use Mueller’s Protein Spaghetti, it’s got assorted beans mixed in for more protein.

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*** I use GoVeggie Vegan “Parmesan”

**** I use Trader Joe’s Meatless Meatballs. You can do whatever you want.

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Preheat oven to 425°F.

Put 1 tbsp olive oil in a 13x9 glass baking dish and spread it around evenly.

Pour the tomatoes right into the baking dish, and then pick them up and cut into 1/4" to 1/2" chunks using the kitchen shears.

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Smash each garlic clove with the side of a knife, breaking each one up in a few still-large pieces.

Add the remaining seasonings, garlic, and olive oil to the tomatoes, stir, and bake at 425°F, uncovered, for 1 hour.

The sauce will be “ready” after an hour but should keep cooking up to another 30 mins. After the hour is when you would add meat(less) balls, make sure they’re thoroughly sauced, and return the dish to the oven for 30 minutes.

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Once you do that, start boiling the water for your pasta, and cook it however the box says, or whatever your secret is. For Mueller’s protein spaghetti I actually go longer than the 12-14 minutes the box says, it needs more like 15-17. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water.

Take some time while the pasta cooks to chiffonade a bunch of basil.

Take the sauce out of the oven. Remove the meatballs from the sauce and set aside. Spoon the sauce over the pasta and toss with the pasta so it’s thoroughly mixed. There should be just enough sauce for 1 lb of pasta but this can vary.

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Make sure to mix your sauce and pasta! Don’t put un-sauced pasta in a bowl and plop sauce on top of it like some kind of savage. But you don’t want to over-sauce the pasta either. If you have a little extra, go to town, but if it’s really too much, hey, you can always dip some bread in that extra sauce, which you’ll want to do.

Anyway, enough distracting sauce quantity ruminations! Now that the pasta is sauced, serve it into bowls, top it with the meatballs, a bunch of parmesan cheese, and basil. Eat immediately!