I try to keep several half-pints of this Pasta Tomato Sauce Base on hand, either canned or frozen. It and a rummage through your pantry can generally provide dinner, and it also makes a fine pizza sauce or a dip for breadsticks. If you have a supply of the sauce at ready, this is a quick dinner. —Kayb
Basic Tomato Pasta Sauce
canned or fresh tomatoes
minced fresh oregano
1 1/2 tablespoons
minced fresh thyme leaves
minced fresh basil
salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
Linguini or spaghettini noodles
basic tomato sauce
can cannelini or gigante beans, drained and rinsed
jar canned artichoke hearts, drained
chopped black or kalamata olives, halved
Pecorino romano, parmigiano, or other hard, white cheese
Dice and saute onion over medium heat until soft and translucent. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant.
Peel tomatoes, if using fresh, and cut in quarters or eighths, depending on size (large dice). Add tomatoes to garlic-onion mixture.
Add herbs and saute over medium heat, uncovered, until tomatoes break down. Blend with an immersion blender or in batches in food process or or blender until it's as smooth as you want (I like just a little texture in mine).
Lower heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 90 minutes or more, until sauce becomes thick and velvety. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool and package in one-cup packages for freezer or water-bath canner.
Cook pasta according to package directions, until not quite al dente.
Drain, reserving a cup of pasta water. Return to pan and add a cup of tomato sauce, the vegetables and olives, and the pasta water. Stir to coat well, and cover and let sit for 10 minutes (should stay warm, but put on low heat if necessary, or use "keep warm" function on Instant Pot).
Shave or grate cheese.
Stir pasta again and serve, topped with generous amounts of cheese.
I'm a business professional who learned to cook early on, and have expanded my tastes and my skills as I've traveled and been exposed to new cuisines and new dishes. I love fresh vegetables, any kind of protein on the grill, and breakfasts that involve fried eggs with runny yolks. My recipes tend toward the simple and the Southern, with bits of Asia or the Mediterranean or Mexico thrown in here and there. And a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on a float in the lake, as pictured, is a pretty fine lunch!