Easy Tomato Sauce

Dan and I love our pasta and our pizza, but we don’t necessarily like the tomato sauce that comes in jars.  Naturally, I embarked on a quest to make the perfect tomato sauce so that I could have a stockpile on hand for pizza emergencies.  I’ve tried quite a few, but so many are just way too fussy, with dozens of ingredients and lots of prep work.   This recipe was a combination of Gourmet and Smitten Kitchen’s tomato sauce recipes.

Not only is it super convenient, requiring very little outside of common pantry ingredients, but it is also the most delicious recipe that I’ve made yet (and that’s saying something, since many have had both butter and bacon in them).  I think the addition of dried fennel seeds really made the sauce.  I know that not everyone likes their strong flavor, but for me, they really brought this sauce to another level.  Easy Tomato Sauce1

Easy Tomato Sauce
adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Gourmet 
2 Tbsp olive oil
4 large clove garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
28 oz crushed tomatoes, broken up with an immersion blender
1 tsp coarse salt
Pinch of red pepper flakes
Small handful fresh basil leaves, most left whole, a few slivered for garnish
dried basil, to taste
dried oregano to taste
dried fennel seeds, crushed

1. Heat 2 T oil and 4 cloves garlic in a large saucepan and cook until fragrant.

2. Add 28 oz tomatoes, 1 t salt, pinch of each red pepper flakes, basil leaves, dried basil, fennel seeds and dried oregano and turn the heat to medium-high.

3. Once the sauce has begun to boil, turn your heat down to medium-low and gently simmer for 35 to 45 minutes.

Nutritionals(8 servings): Cals: 64, Fat: 4, Carb: 8, Fiber: 2, Protein: 2