This recipe is so easy, so tasty, and so versatile, that you will never buy a bottle of pasta sauce again! In the summer I use fresh tomatoes, but the rest of the year I use canned, and, honestly, it’s just as good. I use fire-roasted diced, in a can, for extra smokey flavor.
You can season this any way you like – you can make it spicy with cayenne or red pepper flakes or chipotle puree. You can add oregano, basil, rosemary, thyme or cilantro. You can add olives and capers to make a sort of puttanesca. You can add roasted red peppers and paprika to make it nice and smokey. You can add ground almonds or hazelnuts. You could add curry spices. You could add grated toasted beets. And of course, you could add any vegetable you’re fond of. Anything you like! My youngest son likes to eat it as though it was soup, which it would be, if you thinned it down a bit with water or milk.
Here’s Sly and the Family Stone with Sing a Simple Song, to show you how it’s done.
1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes peeled and seeded and chopped)
1 large shallot – diced
1 clove garlic (or you can put as much as you like!) – diced
herbs & spices. (I generally use basil, oregano, rosemary and smoked paprika most often)
1 t smoked paprika
1 T butter
1 T balsamic
Over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the shallot, when it starts to brown add the garlic, when it starts to brown add the herbs and spices. Immediately add the tomatoes. (if you’re adding roasted reds or ground nuts, this would be the time!) Stir them up a bit, and let them cook for 5 or 10 minutes till they’re heated through. Add the smoked paprika. Add the butter and balsamic, and blend (carefully, it’s hot) till it’s smooth and about a shade lighter in color.
At this point you could return it to the heat and add olives & capers, or veg, or chopped fresh basil or cilantro.