Recipe: Easy Fresh Tomato Sauce

Be sure to have all the ingredients ready before starting the sauce. It’s ready more quickly than you expect. Good tasting fresh tomatoes make all the difference here; cherry tomatoes work especially well and just need to be cut in half. Makes enough sauce for about four- to six-ounces of pasta, or two servings.
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup finely chopped onions
About one-pound tomatoes, chopped
¼ cup white wine (optional)
¼ cup hot pasta water
1 tablespoon minced parsley or basil
Pinch or two hot pepper flakes
¼ cup Parmesan cheese

Add oil to a sauté pan over high heat. Add the garlic and onions, briefly cook until softened. Add the tomatoes, a splash of wine (optional), any other vegetables (see below) and cook for about two to three minutes until all are softened. Add in the hot pasta water and cook until reduced and the rest of the ingredients begin to break down, about another two minutes. Remove from heat, add cheese and serve over hot pasta.

Variations:
-Add in a splash of cream at the end of cooking for a more creamy texture
-A handful of additional vegetables such as zucchini, artichokes, olives, asparagus can be added to extend the sauce and offer additional flavor. Be creative!
-Cooked shrimp or chicken can be added are the tomatoes

Easy Spaghetti Sauce
Cheaper, tastier and healthier than most jars of pasta sauce, this easy version can be made in the time that it takes to make your pasta and a quick salad. As an added bonus, you can add in vegetables or other flavorings. Makes four servings

4 tablespoons olive oil
¾ cup finely chopped onion , about half an onion)
1 ½ teaspoons mixed Italian herbs
4 cloves fresh garlic, finely chopped
1 (16-oz.) can tomato sauce (about two cups)
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
1 Bay leaf
In a saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir the onions and herbs in olive oil until tender. Add garlic, cook and stir for one minute. Add rest of the ingredients, bring to a boil then simmer uncovered on low heat for about 20 minutes. Taste, adjust seasonings.
Variations:
- About a half-cup of green and/or black olives for a puttanesca-style sauce
-A handful of finely chopped mushrooms
-Two tablespoons of red wine added just before simmering for a “cabernet” style sauce

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry" and "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School." Her third book, "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good" will be published in April 2014. All are published by Viking/Penguin.

Comments

  1. I have become quite the fan lately…I am only sorry it took me so long to notice.

    I am totally engrossed in your Kitchen Counter book. I am almost done and started just the other day in between working, writing, and two of my sons starting football. Any chance I can sneak a few pages, I do.

    Love the idea and love what you are doing with folks around our community, teaching them the skills necessary and believing in them enough to inspire confidence in their own cooking ability. Simply love it. Needs to happen more. Less fancy French technique by elite schools (no offense) and more teaching regular Joe’s and Jane’s to not only cook for themselves (healthier, tastier, and quicker), but to hopefully pass on some of those forgotten skills down to their children. I worry about our kids, more than even my generation (X), that they won’t be able to do a darn thing in the kitchen.

    I must say that the results of the tomato tasting (reason for me posting my comment to your tomato sauce recipe), shocked me. Aren’t San Marzano tomatoes the VERY BEST tomatoes on the earth? Acidic, earthy, and a bit sweet, perfect for tomato sauce on pizza, pasta, eggs, and so on? That rich, volcanic soil, loaded with nitrogen and other delicious eco-nutrients, shocks me that it didn’t come in with the gold medal!

    Thats a lot to comment on…but thought I would let you know that I appreciate what you are doing and looking forward to more!

  2. I want to see a kitchen counter cooking school reality show – only one where no gets voted off! More like What Not To Wear, where we follow everyone for a season and then see if they are maintaining it!

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