This chunky tomato sauce is so versatile that you can use it for pasta, pizza, vegetables, or even a chili recipe. It’s basic and while most basic things can be thought of as boring, this sauce is anything but boring, it has a ton of flavor. With that said, I make a lot of it, and I keep in the refrigerator at all times. On busy weeknights, this recipe helps me prepare dishes very fast.
I like to keep the sauce chunky, for serving with pasta, and when I add it to a pot of chili, but when using it as a pizza sauce or on an eggplant parmesan sandwich, I tend to blend it to get a smooth consistency.
You can easily change the flavor of this sauce, by adding swapping out the basil for cinnamon and anise star for a Moroccan style sauce or add some ancho or chipotle chili, and cilantro for a Mexican dish. Just eliminate the basil, add the spices and herbs that work best for the dish you want to use it with and you’re done, that’s why I love starter recipes, they help you become a more adventurous cook, by giving you a baseline and being delicious on their own, they help to ignite your creativity. I hope you try this recipe, it’ll elevate all of your tomato sauce dishes.
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- 1 medium onion, diced (1 cup)
- 1 medium green bell pepper, diced (1 cup)
- 4 large cloves of garlic, minced or sliced
- 1 cup of water
- 1 - 28 oz (796 ml) can Italian peeled tomatoes
- 1 - 5.5 oz (162 ml) can tomato paste
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt, to taste
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 8 fresh basil leaves OR 1.5 tablespoons of dried basil
- Finely dice the onions and the bell pepper.
- Mince or thinly slice the garlic.
- Open the peeled tomato can, and the tomato paste can.
- Measure out the olive oil and set aside.
- Get your blender out and set it aside.
- To start the sauce, heat a heavy-bottomed pot over medium-low heat.
- Then add the oil, onions and the peppers.
- Next, add a pinch of salt and let the onions gently cook until they soften and just begin to turn a slight golden color.
- Once they’re ready, add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute or so, just until softened.
- While the garlic is cooking, add the contents of the canned whole tomatoes into your blender and the 8 fresh basil leaves. Blend until smooth.
- Empty the contents of the blender into the pot and then stir in the tomato paste, and the water, let it gently cook for a few minutes until it becomes a shade darker.
- Taste for seasoning and add more salt and black pepper, to taste.
- Stir to combine the tomato paste well and bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching.
- Once the sauce has finished cooking, turn off the heat and enjoy.
2. I usually double this recipe to get 8 cups of sauce and I freeze half of it.