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A Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe

So, let's say you like tomato sauces with your pasta. You're not such a fan of chunks of vegetables floating around your pasta all willy-nilly without the sauce to bind everything together. Or maybe you just prefer the unifying taste a sauce gives the dish—you don't like chomping down on mushroom here and onion there.

Preparing your own tomato sauce can be as simple as whipping up your own soup—you're basically adding a can of crushed tomatoes to a few sauteing vegetables.

A Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe

Let's take this recipe for spaghetti with fennel, onion and mushrooms and turn it into a tomato sauce. The adjsuted ingredient list:

  • 4 tbs olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1fennel bulb, sliced thinly (discard fronds or save for another recipe).
  • 4 oz (or 1.5 cups) of crimini or white mushrooms, sliced thinly
  • 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbs dried oregano
  • salt, ground black pepper to taste

Follow the original recipe for preparation: saute the vegetables in a large saucepan for five or six minutes. Now, add the can of crushed tomatoes. Stir. Add the ground black pepper and oregano. Reduce heat, cover and simmer. Stir occasionally.

The longer you simmer, the thicker, darker, and, personally, the more flavorful the sauce will be. Let the sauce simmer for at least 15 minutes, but 30-45 minutes is optimal, before making the pasta.

After the pasta is cooked, add the sauce and the all-important freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

For different kinds of tomato sauces, follow the same basic formula, only substitute the vegetables, like a zucchini, for the fennel and mushrooms. Just add that vegetable with the tomatoes, instead of the onion and garlic. Remember to always include at least garlic or onion. This and the oil is what makes the sauce taste saucey, not just tomato-y. Play around with different herbs and spices, like basil and thyme, for different flavors.

Voila! Your own, home-made sauces.

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