Thursday, October 15, 2009

Basically Delicious Tomato Sauce

I returned from Florida and was excited to see my basil plant still had a bit of life in it. Fresh basil and tomatoes make this sauce fantastic but don't be afraid to use dried basil and canned tomatoes it is still delicious!
This basic sauce can be dressed up with meat balls, sausage or lightly steamed summer squash; top it with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Simply Recipes was my source, the 1 teaspoon of tomato paste seemed odd--but I am obedient so I added it. I think it gives more depth to the sauce. This is delicious!

Basically Delicious Tomato Sauce
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 small stalk of celery, include the green tops, finely chopped
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried basil or 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 28 ounce can whole tomatoes or 1 3/4 pound of fresh tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 teaspoon tomato paste
salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in large skillet on medium heat add chopped onion, carrot, celery and parsley. Stir to coat, reduce heat to low, cover skillet and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and cooked through. Add garlic, increase heat to medium high cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, break if using canned whole tomatoes. Add tomato paste and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a low simmer, reduce the heat to low and cook uncovered until thickened, about 15 minutes. Serve over pasta, top with freshly grated parmesan cheese. With a little planning this could be a 30 minute meal! Add some crusty bread, a simple salad and you have a filling, meatless meal.

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