Smoky and Spicy Tomato Pasta Sauce

This tomato sauce is anything but ordinary, with a combination of smoked paprika and sweet red peppers.

Prep Time:
1 hr 30 mins
Additional Time:
1 hr 20 mins
Total Time:
2 hrs 50 mins
20 servings


  • 4 medium red sweet peppers, stemmed, seeded, and quartered (see Tips)

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 12 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander

  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

  • 8 pounds Roma tomatoes (about 40), peeled and coarsely chopped (see Tips)

  • ¼ cup honey

  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon black pepper

  • 1 cup snipped fresh cilantro

  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice


  1. Preheat broiler. Line a 15x10-inch baking pan with foil. Place sweet peppers, cut sides down, in prepared pan. Broil 4 to 5 inches from heat 10 minutes or until charred and very tender. Bring foil up around peppers and fold edges together to enclose. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes or until cool enough to handle. Peel off and discard skins. Chop peppers.

  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a 6- to 8-quart stainless-steel, enamel, or nonstick heavy pot. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic, cumin, coriander, and paprika.

  3. Add the tomatoes, honey, cider vinegar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Using a potato masher, coarsely crush tomatoes. Boil steadily, uncovered, 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

  4. Stir in chopped sweet peppers. Boil 10 to 20 minutes more or until mixture reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.

  5. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the lemon juice into each of five hot sterilized pint canning jars. Ladle hot pasta sauce into jars with lemon juice, leaving a 1/2-inch headspace. Wipe jar rims; adjust lids and screw bands.

  6. Process filled jars in a boiling-water canner 35 minutes (start time when water returns to boiling.) Remove; cool on a wire rack.


Tips: Omit Step 1, and use 2 cups chopped bottled roasted red sweet peppers.

To peel tomatoes, bring a large pot of water to boiling. Using a sharp knife, cut a shallow "X" in blossom ends of tomatoes. Lower tomatoes, in batches, into boiling water for 30 to 60 seconds or until skins start to split. Using a slotted spoon, transfer tomatoes to a large bowl of ice water. Peel off and discard skins.

Serving Suggestion: Spoon hot cooked spaghetti squash onto dinner plates. Top with sliced grilled chicken breast, reduced-sodium canned black beans, and pasta sauce. Top with crumbled Cotija or shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese and snipped fresh cilantro.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

69 Calories
2g Fat
13g Carbs
2g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 20
Serving Size 1/2 cup
Calories 69
% Daily Value *
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 10%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 2g 4%
Total Fat 2g 2%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Vitamin A 2292IU 46%
Vitamin C 56mg 62%
Folate 39mcg 10%
Sodium 244mg 11%
Calcium 26mg 2%
Iron 1mg 5%
Magnesium 24mg 6%
Potassium 481mg 10%

Nutrition information is calculated by a registered dietitian using an ingredient database but should be considered an estimate.

* Daily Values (DVs) are the recommended amounts of nutrients to consume each day. Percent Daily Value (%DV) found on nutrition labels tells you how much a serving of a particular food or recipe contributes to each of those total recommended amounts. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the daily value is based on a standard 2,000 calorie diet. Depending on your calorie needs or if you have a health condition, you may need more or less of particular nutrients. (For example, it’s recommended that people following a heart-healthy diet eat less sodium on a daily basis compared to those following a standard diet.)

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a special diet for medical reasons, be sure to consult with your primary care provider or a registered dietitian to better understand your personal nutrition needs.

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