I don’t know who decided that the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day should be barbecue season. Really? The hottest months of the year? Obviously this person did not live in Texas. As much as I love to grill and barbecue, with the heat of summer sitting heavily upon us, you are more than likely going to start seeing a few more recipes cooked inside. Where there is AC. Where even the dogs would much rather prefer to be. I mean come on….we’ve already had 3 consecutive days of 100+ weather, no end of that in sight, no chance of rain. Maybe we’ll get a cold front soon and it will knock us back down to the upper 90’s. I think I’ve started to ramble again. Let’s rein this back in.
So I didn’t want to cook outside and I was having a craving for Italian food the other day. And what better way to have Italian food than to start off with a home-made simple tomato sauce?
- 1/4 cup of olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, diced
- 3 tbsp chopped fresh basil (or 1 tbsp dried)
- 2 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of sugar (to cut the acidity a bit)
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add the onion and cook until it begins to soften
- Add the garlic and cook until soft, being careful not to burn
- Add the basil and cook for 3 to 5 minutes
- Add the canned tomatoes with their juices and bring to a boil
- Lower the heat and allow to simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until the sauce begins to thicken
- Using an immersion blender (or a blender), pulse a few times to break up the tomatoes to achieve a sauce like consistency (you are looking to still have some chunks, you don’t want it to be completely smooth, but exact consistency is up to you)
- Season with salt and pepper to taste
*Note – tomato sauce will last 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.
Pretty simple, huh? And packs a whole bunch more flavor than that pre-made stuff in the jars. Feel free to experiment with other fresh herbs if you like. Rosemary, oregano and thyme would all make great additions to this sauce. And now that I say that I am kicking myself because we are growing all three of those, in addition to the basil, and somehow it totally slipped my mind to include them. DOH!! Check back in tomorrow to see what we served the simple tomato sauce on.