Basic Tomato Sauce

(Not quite from scratch)

Last summer, I decided to grow my own tomatoes.  My thumb is by no means green, so this was quite a tall order for me.  I found a spot that had perfect light, according to my greener thumbed neighbors, and planted 6 plants – 3 butter boy and 3 roma plants.  They ALL GREW! And produced a lot of crop.  The tomato plants took over the entire area and basically killed each other off.  This year, I will try again with 4 plants and see what I can accomplish.

I did get a enough tomatoes at one point to make this pasta sauce using fresh tomatoes and will do it again as soon as I’m able.  It takes about 2 lbs of tomatoes to make this recipe, so feel free to do it! Here’s the recipe using canned (or boxed as it were) tomatoes.  I like Pomi brand chopped fresh tomatoes.

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4 cloves Garlic minced

2 T Olive oil

1 medium Onion minced

10 Basil stems and leaves

26 oz Chopped tomatoes

1/4 c Red wine

1 1/2 T Turbinado sugar

Salt and pepper to taste

How to

This is seriously so easy.  I adapted this recipe from a basic tomato sauce that Jamie Oliver makes and just made a few minor adjustments to make it my own.  It’s fantastic as is, but you can add red pepper flakes, mushrooms, meatballs or other items to it as well.  I use this for pizza, pasta and any other dish that may require tomato sauce.

Remove the stems from 10 basil leaves, roll them up as a bunch and slice into pieces that are about 1/8 inch and set the pieces aside.  Put 2 T olive oil in a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed sauce pan.  Heat the oil to a medium high heat and toss in the basil stems.  Mince your garlic and onion then put them in the oil with the basil leaves. Brown them, stirring occasionally to make sure they don’t burn or stick, for about 10 minutes.

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Add in the sugar and stir.  Let it cook for about 3 minutes then the pour in your 1/4 c. red wine.  Reduce your heat to medium and allow the wine to reduce (4 or 5 minutes).

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Turn heat down to low and add in your tomatoes and  your basil.

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I keep my heat between a 1 and a 2 and allow the tomato mixture to cook for 30 minutes or more, depending on how much time I have.

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