living with just a little less

Classic Tomato Pasta Sauce

Hey everyone! Here we are, another Monday, and another opportunity to start the week right (yes, for all of us!). I just wrapped (what is to this busy lady) a big accomplishment over the weekend, and that is the giant book that is the biography of Steve Jobs. The quote above is used in the closing few passages in the book, and it’s one that I think I will carry with me for a while.

Growth being what makes our world go ’round, I can’t stress enough how affirmed I am in the importance of pushing forward in this life. Time doesn’t stop and neither should we, just so long as we do so sensibly, and with awareness. Living with less in all manner of ways: less clutter, less excess, less food, whatever your ‘less’ is…..that is what (IMHO) allows us to become free to enjoy the forward motion of our time here with more ease, and more freedom, and more energy. Letting go of the excess to make way for what really makes you tick. Clear path. Clear vision. Clear you. Clear me. What does clarity mean to you?

Since last year,Not So Fasthas been cooking with elementary school kids in the DTES here in Vancouver. Every week we meet in a fluorescent lit kitchen to chop & mash & bake & chat. We cook healthy simple foods, share stories from our weeks, and send the kids home with food and the same easy recipes. This simple act of connecting nourishes my soul (and those of my truly amazing team), and provides a means to further our mission with exacting clarity. It just feels right, and is just one small part of what we can do.

Today’s recipe is one we shared with the group a few weeks back, and it’s an absolute classic. I know there are a million recipes for tomato sauce out there, but here’s mine (I’ve been making a version of this since, well,forever). I can’t recall how I came up with it, but it’s so easy & so good, I’ve a feeling it might become your favorite too (if you are looking for that sort of thing). Using pretty much straight up kitchen pantry staples, you won’t find yourself without likely any of these ingredients.

Classic Tomato Pasta Sauce:

(2) tbsp olive oil
(1) small yellow onion
(1) tsp salt (or to taste)
(1) large tin (296 ml) of chopped or whole tomatoes (roughly chop if using whole)
(1) small can tomato paste (156 ml)
(1) garlic clove, minced or a few pinches garlic powder
(1/2-1) cup water
(1) tbsp honey
(1) tsp dried basil
Additional olive oil as desired

Start by dicing the yellow onion. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan and then add the onion. Cook the onion and salt, stirring, for 5-8 minutes until golden and starting to lightly brown.

加入西红柿罐头,番茄酱,大蒜,和(1/2) cup water and stir well. Cover the pot part way and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, until the onion is soft. Add the basil & honey and stir well, add more water if the mixture is too thick. Check for desired thickness and add up to (1/2) cup of water if desired. Cook for a further 10-15 minutes over medium heat.

Serve over your favourite pasta, with or without a few chopped fresh herbs or parmesan cheese on top.


19 responses to “Classic Tomato Pasta Sauce

  1. S! – Good Morning from foggy Sydney (it’s Tuesday down here!) – I have a favourite tomato based sauce, too. Everyone should have one – mine has fresh parsley and a touch more garlic than yours, and when there’s no teenager in sight, I might add capers and anchovies. Lip smackingly good! X

    1. This sounds so crazy good J! Capers? Giddyup!! Going to try that you know! But only when the husband isn’t looking…he’s not a fan of such things

  2. This sauce looks wonderful. I have made my own sauces before, but used can tomatoes (I know, I know, I am shuttering with embarrassment.) No more canned tomatoes for me though! I will be making your sauce next time I have spaghetti! Love that you shared this with the kids, starting them early is key to a healthy happy life!

    1. Thanks Britt! The kids loved it too which was awesome! This is an easy cheap version anyone can make!

  3. I think this tomato sauce looks absolutely perfect! I will definitely give this one a try next time I am making pasta sauce I like that you didn’t use fresh herbs- not that they aren’t AMAZING in pasta sauce, but when making pasta sauce unexpectedly, there’s not always herbs available. So I love a recipe that is outstanding without them!

    Congrats on finishing the Steve Jobs biography! I’m almost done Love in the Time of Cholera- 40 pages!!

    Much love to you too my dear!

    1. Congrats on your book read too Gabby! How good does that feel? Awesome.
      It’s true what you say about the herbs – totally not necessary here and they can be added based on what’s around. This one doesn’t need any at all as the dried basil adds the perfect sweetness

    1. It’s the best I think really Caitlin! I am with you, though I had forgotten how easy it is….no more jars over here for a while

  4. I’ll bet this was a big hit with the kids. Who doesn’t love pasta? I started making my own sauce a few years ago and I’m so glad I finally gave it a try. It’s just so easy to make a delicious, healthy sauce that I can’t see any reason to bother with the jarred stuff anymore. Sometimes I’ll make up a huge batch and store it in the freezer for even more convenience.

  5. This sauce is awesome, i believe that the classics never go out of style. I always put a bit of honey into most of the tomato sauces I make, it does make a difference. Thanks for the recipe.

  6. Mmmm. Thank you for all of this post. Your posts and the things in your life make me happy and to believe in humanity! And pasta.

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