This is my very simple yet tasty Tomato Basil Sauce. I find many of the commercial sauces are either too sweet, too spice heavy, full of skins or are simply bad. It costs less to make than most jarred commercial sauces and you know exactly what is in it.
I use carrots to add some sweetness to the sauce and it also gives it a fresh flavor that compliments the tomato instead of competing with it.
While experimenting I discovered a quick and easy way to make this a great pizza sauce too!
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Step 1: Here Is the Stuff You Will Need
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes with basil
- use store brands, they usually have less or no sugar
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- your favorite
- 1 medium or 2 small yellow onions
- diced small
- 3 baby carrots
- 3/4 teaspoon garlic
- minced or crushed
- 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
- for pizza sauce add 1-1/2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning
- Salt and pepper
- to taste
- Chefs knife
- your favorite
- Grater / shredder
- 10" saute' pan
Step 2: What to Do - Prep
- Empty the tomatoes into a medium sauce pan and put on medium / low heat
- just getting it warmed up
- Add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the saute' pan on low heat
- just getting the oil warm for now
- Dice the onion
- you should get about 3/4 cup
- Grate the carrots
- use the fine grater
- When done dicing and grating set the saute' pan to medium heat
- Let it get hot but not smoking
- A piece of onion will dance in the oil when it is hot enough
Step 3: What to Do - Saute'
When the oil is ready add the diced onions and grated carrots. Stir with a wooden spoon and thoroughly mix them together. Add a small amount of salt and pepper....not too much, you can always add more later. We are using the salt to bring the juices out of the onions.
Saute the mixture until the onions become translucent and soft. A taste test is always a good idea too, you know you want to.
Move the onions and carrots to the side and let the middle of the pan get hot again. It should only take 15 seconds or so. Add the minced garlic and spread it flat in the middle. Let it cook for 15 seconds or so then stir the onions and carrot in with the garlic.
Saute' this deliciousness for about a minute and it is done.
Step 4: Combine
Stir in the onions, carrots and garlic to the warm sauce along with the 1/2 teaspoon of basil. I know you are tempted to add more, it is dried basil after all. Wait!! Turn up the heat to medium until a few bubbles rise in the sauce then turn back down to a low simmer. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Now that it has had time to marry (combine) taste it and determine what you may need. My guess is a little more salt and that's about it. Let is simmer for about another 20 minutes and it is ready to put over your favorite pasta or dipping your favorite crusty bread into.
For pizza sauce add 1-1/2 tablespoons of Italian seasoning before simmering.
Step 5: Option for Smooth Sauce
My oldest didn't care for the onion pieces and I imagine some of your kids will feel the same so I wrote this option.
Before combining the onions, carrots and garlic with the crushed tomatoes, puree them in a blender. To make it a little easier use about 1/2 cup of the tomatoes in the blender too.