Italian-seasoned tomato sauce is classic, and when you think about it, this red sauce is responsible for making so many things taste more delicious–pasta, pizza, eggplant, meatballs…
Rather brilliantly, lycopene–the thing that gives tomatoes their bright red hue–may possibly help reduce heart disease (perhaps even the risk of stroke) when eaten regularly. Isn’t it nice to know that not all food that tastes good is bad for you? So pile on the cooked tomatoes! What better way than with some flavorful tomato sauce?
Here is a simple recipe for Italian-seasoned tomato sauce–kid tested and mother approved! My mom drools over this stuff. We made it last evening with pasta, and she jarred the excess sauce!
(Italian) Tomato Sauce
(Makes roughly 3 quarts of sauce–perfect for jarring or freezing)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 28oz cans crushed tomatoes (with basil is preferred; without is also fine)
- 21oz (ish) water (about 3/4 of one of the tomato cans rinsed)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped
- Handful of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
- 2 teaspoons dried oregano
- red pepper flakes, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a large pot or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sautee the onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then, add the garlic and cook until fragrant, a minute or so.
2. Add the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Then, reduce to a simmer, partially covered, for roughly 40 minutes. Stir the sauce occasionally throughout. If the sauce tastes sour, add a pinch of sugar.
3. Serve however you wish. I’ve listed a few ideas below!
Note: Salt the sauce carefully. As the sauce simmers, it will thicken and the taste of salt will increase. Additionally, many canned tomatoes contain some sodium, so taste and adjust season with care. A little salt goes a long way! You can always add salt at the end if you desire, but you can’t take it out!
8 Ideas for Meals with Italian Tomato Sauce!
- Lima Beans would be good here, too!
2. Eggplant UnParmesan (my very first blog post!)
- I made these a couple of years ago as a snack for watching the Grammy’s…delicious and I didn’t feel guilty about eating them!
- I ❤ spaghetti squash. If you’ve never had it, it’s the silliest thing; it comes out in thin strings…and well, it’s pretty obvious why it’s named “Spaghetti Squash!”
- Cabbage and tomatoes are good friends–other greens would be fun here, too. I’m dreaming of beet greens and tomatoes…
8. Tomato Sauce is a quick topping for steamed, boiled, or roasted vegetables.
- Especially green beans, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower, and zucchini! Just drizzle the vegetables with a small amount of the sauce to fancy up (and add flavor to) the vegetable of your choice.
Get out there and eat your ‘maters!