Like many of us there is a fair amount of pizza and pasta consumption happening in our family these days. I am happy to report that most of it is of the homemade variety. It helps us control our food intake, fat content, ingredients etc etc. Till recently, I had been using the store bought sauces for both pizza and pasta and just did not care for them. My beef with them (pardon the pun) was related to the sauces tasting over salty, of preservatives, too sweet, canned/jarred the list goes on and on. That, and the fact the good ones are not inexpensive (the cheap desi in me just hates to part with his dollars) led me to experiment with a tomato basil sauce recipe.
Good Italian food relies on great ingredients but not necessarily fancy technique. This is the approach I adopted and the tomato basil sauce turned out very well. I used fresh herbs from my herb garden but you can use dried herbs as well. This recipe is a bit like Indian recipes: measures are approximate and you should play around with ingredients. There is certainly room here for experimentation. Grilled or steamed vegetables can certainly be added to the sauce (and then pureed to feed picky eaters). Anyway, I have been having fun with this and I hope you will too. Enjoy.
INGREDIENTS (enough for pasta for 4)
1 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 onion diced fine
1 celery stick diced fine
1-2 carrots diced fine
1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes
1/2 tsp minced garlic
Salt and Pepper
5-6 leaves of basil
2 inches of rosemary
A few oregano leaves (the kids call it “original” :-))
1. Heat the oil.
2. Saute onion, celery, carrots till onion is transparent.
3. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook 5-6 minutes.
4. Add salt and pepper to taste.
5. Tear up the herbs and put them in.
6. Let the concoction cook till the carrots are pretty soft. Add some water if the sauce is getting too dry.
7. Puree the sauce in a blender and you are ready to go.