During this (hopefully past) crazy long pandemic winter, my family has been served far too much pasta in tomato sauce. You know, spaghetti, any kind of pasta or pasta casserole with jarred or canned red sauce.
It’s true, the jars are convenient, and I re-use them to store my spices, and if they are true mason jars, I put my preserves and pickles in them. Back in the fall, we brought in all our home grown tomatoes and made fresh Herb Garden Blender Tomato sauce for the freezer – but that’s been long gone for a long time.
How do we liven things up in the sauce department without our crop of fresh tomatoes? Lately, we’ve been making a chunky version of our fresh sauce with canned tomatoes. It’s very easy, we just combine canned diced stewed tomatoes and tomato paste, with sauteed diced onions and garlic, and add in a few spices (fresh is best, but whatever is on hand is what we use).
Everyday Tomato Pasta Sauce Recipe:
1 White Onion or Cooking Onion Diced
3 Large Cloves Garlic Diced
A healthy amount of Olive Oil (don’t be bashful! Conservative me starts with 3 tablespoons for my jarred sauce, but for the “fresh from stewed tomatoes” version, my husband uses about 1/3-1/2 cup to let the onions and garlic swim a bit. He pours it all into the sauce.)
2 19 Ounce Cans Diced Stewed Tomatoes
2 Cans Tomato Paste
2 Teaspoons Granulated Sugar
1 Teaspoon Salt
Fresh Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Teaspoon Dried Basil or 2 Sprigs Fresh (We try to use fresh, and more basil is always better for us)
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano (or 2 Sprigs Fresh)
1 Teaspoon Dried Parsley (or 2 Sprigs Fresh)
2 Sprigs Fresh Thyme (if we have it – I don’t tend to use dried Thyme if I don’t have fresh, but you can use one teaspoon if you like!)
Saute Garlic and Onions in olive oil until soft. As I said earlier, let the onions and garlic swim for a bit – the olive oil will help to coat the noodles later on.
Place all ingredients in a large pot (including olive oil from saute pan). Cook over medium high heat for few minutes stirring, and then reduce heat and partially cover. Let simmer, stirring regularly and enjoying the fragrance until the liquid absorbs a little, and the spices cook down – about 1/2 hour.
Enjoy this everyday sauce served over cooked pasta noodles which have been tossed in a little olive oil. We mix this sauce with mushrooms, vegetables, seafood, meatballs or whatever is on hand! It’s simple and tastes fresh, and is just a change from those darned jars and cans of sauce.