Sometimes I want something a little fancier than my regular tomato sauce. Today was one of those days. Behold my olive and caper tomato sauce! :D
I love the briny taste of olives and capers, and they go perfectly with the sweet tang of the tomatoes. While I've kept this sauce pretty simple, you can add red wine, green peppers or carrots, or even ground beef to it to boost the flavor and make it more filling.
This sauce is also perfect for baked pasta dishes because it has so much flavor.
Step 1: Ingredients
- 4 teaspoons capers
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (or less if you're not into spicy things. :D)
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 kalamata olives, diced
- 4 green olives, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- olive oil
- 28 oz can tomatoes (crushed, diced, whole - whatever you like!)
- 1/4 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar, optional
- salt to taste
Step 2: Saute the Veggies + Add Spices and Herbs
Pour a couple tablespoons of olive oil into a pan and let heat up. Once it's nice and hot, drop in the olives, garlic and onion. Let this cook until the onions get soft, and then add the Italian seasoning and red pepper. Stir that around until it gets nice and fragrant, and then add in the capers and let it cook for another minute or so.
Step 3: Add Tomatoes + Water
Pour the tomatoes into the pan. Add about 1/4 of water to the can the tomatoes came out of, and swish it around to get all the extra tomato out of the can. Pour that into the pan. Stir well!
If you're adding in leftovers, now is the time to do it. I shredded the chicken and stirred it in.
Step 4: Simmer With the Lid On!
The longer you cook this the better it is. I simmered this batch for about 45 minutes while I cleaned up the kitchen. :) Just make sure to keep the heat low and to stir it frequently.
After it's simmered for 20 minutes or so, start tasting for seasonings. Now you'll be able to tell if it needs extra salt or a bit of sugar. You don't want to salt it before now because you never really know how salty it will be from the olives and capers at the beginning of cooking.
I added a pinch of salt and about a 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and it was perfect. :)
I typically don't really like sugar in my tomato sauces, but this one really needs a bit of sweetness to help balance out all the tang.
Serve over your favorite chunky pasta or with rice. It's fantastic with fresh basil and a little parmesan. :D