Tomato Basil Sauce

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I really wish the weather would settle down a bit.  One day it’s a snow storm.  The next day it rains ALL DAY LONG.  And then we top it off with a day of 50 degree temps outside.  Come on Mother Nature!  You got to make up you’re mind at some point!  Is it Winter or not?  Let’s go with Winter…that way I can continue cooking big bowls of comfort food and not feel bad about it…because it’s freezing and snowing outside.  Yes…Winter it is! homemade pasta sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce

homemade pasta sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce

You all probably know that pasta is high on my comfort food list.  But in particular, pasta with tomato sauce.  Not alfredo, or butter and cheese.  Tomato sauce.  Plain jane.  Even less involved than my homemade Marinara sauce (which is also delicious!) That’s how I like it.  Sometimes you need a little plain (well, let’s go with simple) – no fancy spices and ingredients, no crazy cooking techniques.  Simple is where it’s at. homemade pasta sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce

homemade pasta sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce

My Tomato Basil sauce totally exemplifies simple.  5 ingredients…that’s it (not including salt and pepper).  Plus a pretty easy cooking process.  Here’s how to make this sauce shine:

  • Like I said, there are only 5 ingredients – the main one being the tomatoes (obviously).  So you need to pick a good type.  I use canned – makes life easier.  In particular I use San Marzano tomatoes.  Yes, they are slightly more expensive.  But their bright acidic flavor is completely unmatched by ordinary canned tomatoes.  And when you’re making a sauce where you want the tomato flavor to shine through, these tomatoes are the way to go for sure.
  • The basil in this sauce provides a nice floral fresh flavor.  However, you’ll note in the recipe I add the basil in at TWO different times – at the beginning of the cooking process and then at the end.  Cooked basil has a very different flavor than fresh.  And by adding it at both times, the sauce has a nice sweet basil flavor throughout plus a few pops of fresh lemony basil.
  • Patience!  This is in short demand in our house (really just me 🙂 ).  The longer this sauce cooks down and simmers, the better it is.  I’d say a minimum an hour.  Actually…I think that’s the longest Dario and I have ever waited to eat it!   But the longer it sits, the more all the flavors merry together and the more intense the tomato flavor gets.  And that’s what we want!

Not too many of those “how-to” tips there, so this is a must make for you!  You MUST try this sauce.  It’s especially delicious poured over rigatoni!  Because rigatoni is the best pasta shape in the world, right?  Yes it is!  Here’s the recipe!

homemade pasta sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, tomato sauce, vegetarian pasta sauce

Tomato Basil Sauce:
Ingredients:

  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper
  • 2, 28 oz cans crushed San Marzano tomatoes (if you can only find whole tomatoes, use your hands to crush them)
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil roughly chopped, divided in half
  • 1/3 can of water (save one of the empty tomato cans)

Instructions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium high heat.  Once hot, add in the onion, salt and pepper and sauté for 3-4 minutes until onions are being to get translucent.
  2. Add in the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute more or until the garlic is fragrant.
  3. Add in the tomatoes, 1/4 cup of the basil and the water (just fill up the empty tomato can about 1/3 of the way).  Stir to combine.
  4. Bring sauce to a boil.  Then reduce heat to medium-low and cook uncovered for 30 minutes – you want the sauce to reduce and get slightly thick.  The longer you cook the sauce uncovered, the thicker it will become – up to you!
  5. Cover sauce, drop the heat to low and cook sauce for an additional 30 minutes (or longer).  Serve over freshly cooked pasta or freeze for another day!

 

2 Comments

  1. Grace

    December 20, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    This tomato basil sauce looks fabulous! A bowl of pasta with homemade sauce is the perfect comfort food for a cold day!

    • mewinebrenner

      December 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      It definitely is!! I hope you try it out!

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