Pasta is a go-to meal for many families and, luckily, it’s no longer the nutrition bomb it once was. While white pasta is still on the naughty list, healthier options like whole-wheat, brown rice and gluten-free pasta mean that noodles can be part of a balanced diet.
For pasta sauces, just make sure you skip the jarred ones. They’re often packed with loads of sugar and preservatives; plus, the price can quickly add up. Instead, make your own homemade pasta sauce in minutes. Make one batch or double it and freeze extras to always have some on hand. This version tastes great and is so simple to make that you’ll never waste money on those store-bought jars again!
Let’s start by heating up the olive oil and adding your chopped nutritious onions. Roughly chopped or finely minced doesn’t matter. Add the onion and stir until it softens up. Then add the minced garlic; you’ll want to keep your eye on this one, so the garlic doesn’t burn.
Add the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and basil to the mix, then season with salt and pepper. If you like a bit of heat in your homemade pasta sauce, now’s a good time to add cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper flakes. Be sure to taste while you season and err on the side of caution; remember, you can always add more seasoning but you can’t take any away!
Next, toss in your hand-crushed tomatoes. If you have a thriving tomato plant, you could also use fresh tomatoes in this step. Stir the tomatoes to combine them with all the good ingredients already in the pot and then bring the whole thing to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and let the flavors meld together for 20 minutes.
While the sauce simmers, you can cook the pasta and assemble a side salad. Once the 20 minutes are up, your sauce is ready! Top your favorite noodles with it and enjoy.
This made-from-scratch homemade pasta sauce recipe takes just half hour from start to finish. If you choose to freeze some, be sure to use within three months. Pro tip: freeze the sauce flat in a zip bag. It’ll make thawing a breeze; just add it to a sink of warm water and then continue heating in a sauce pan. No muss, no fuss.
Homemade Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- ¼ teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon dried basil
- 2 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes, crushed with hands
- salt and pepper
- Heat oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute.
- Stir in tomato paste, Italian seasoning, and basil. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add tomatoes, stir to combine, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.
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