Rustic Tomato-Basil Sauce

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Recipe by Joey D from NYC

This is one of my favorite recipes that I threw together one Friday during lent when we had no fish in the house and I had to come up with some dinner. It's simple, easy and very flavorful. When I cook, I like flavor...for instance, if I'm adding garlic then I need to be able to taste it! You might want to slightly decrease some of the spices based on your personal preferences. This sauce ends up being quite sweet, so adjust accordingly.

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of EVOO in a sauce pan over low heat. Add garlic and stir continuously until soft. Do not let garlic start to brown; this releases a lot of bitterness and you'll be better off starting over.
  2. Add crushed tomatoes to sauce pan and turn heat up slightly to medium-low, stirring frequently. Add sugar to the tomatoes. At the same time, add 2 remaining tablespoons of EVOO to a pan and sautee onion and green pepper over medium-low heat until softened, stirring frequently for about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Add onion and green pepper with EVOO from the pan to the tomatoes and garlic and mix well.
  4. Add remaining ingredients (oregano, basil, salt, pepper, bay leaves, fennel seeds) and let simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally so as not to let ingredients settle or burn at the bottom and to promote flavor.
  5. Serve over your favorite pasta, garnish with fresh parsley and grated cheese of your choice (if desired), as well as some crusty Italian bread.
  6. ***Hint: If you lightly toss your pasta in olive oil after draining it, it will hold more sauce more easily while you're eating it.

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