Home-made Pasta Sauce


 

in the not-so-distant past, i was hit by a pasta craving and decided that i would make myself some spaghetti. when i checked my bottle of pasta sauce, i realised that it was past its expiry date. as i pencilled in pasta sauce into my grocery list, the thought struck me that i could try making some myself. i did some research online and as it turns out, it is quite easy to make pasta sauce at home. all you need to do is cut some tomatoes, cook it, throw in whatever you like when you are cooking it and then just blend it all up. your very own pasta sauce – just the way you like it! :) so, move over commercial pasta sauce – here comes my very own unlabelled concoction🙂

while i was prepping the stuff for the sauce, i wanted to add in something a little extra – if possible, something that would give it a healthy edge. the only vege i had at home on that day was carrots, so i steamed the carrots and added them in. the next time round, i am thinking of making it a bit more chunky…of tipping in some mushrooms…and maybe more tomatoes…and maybe some grilled peppers as well (just think of all the possibilities!) the first thing i noticed when i made this sauce was that it has a more earthy, natural flavour than store-bought sauce. i liked it – so much so that i am thinking of keeping more fresh tomatoes in my fridge than cans of sauce as back-up. but don’t take my word for it – make some today and see if you like it :) you may fall in love with your version and swear off the canned version. and even if you don’t, at least you have a back-up option if you were to run out of sauce – and a pasta craving hits!🙂

Ingredients:
5 ripe, medium-sized Tomatoes
6 pods of Garlic, cut into chunks
1 medium-sized Onion, cut into chunks
1 medium-sized Carrot
6 tbsp Olive oil (*i used extra virgin olive oil)
1 -1/2 dried Basil leaves
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
3 tbsp Tomato puree/paste (optional)

Making the Home-made Pasta Sauce:
Wash the tomatoes and then blanch them – put some water (enough to submerge the tomatoes) to boil and once  bubbles start to surface, add in the tomatoes whole. After a few minutes, the skin on the tomatoes will start to split and peel. Turn off the heat, remove the tomatoes with a slotted spoon and cool. When they’re cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and chop them up into coarse chunks. Keep aside. Cut up the carrots into chunks and steam in the microwave on High for about 3 minutes. Keep aside to cool. Pour the olive oil into a heavy-bottomed saucepan or pot and place on a low flame – it is important to allow the oil to heat up slowly. Once the oil has started to heat up, toss in the onion and garlic chunks and stir to coat them with the oil. Keep the heat on low throughout. Cover the pot with with a lid and cook  for about 5 – 7 minutes, stirring the mixture in intervals. Add in the carrots (remove any excess water before adding it in) and stir. After a minute or so, add in the tomatoes and stir. Add in the salt, pepper and basil (and the tomato puree if using), mix it all well and put the lid back on. Cook the mixture in the closed saucepan on low heat for about 10 minutes, but be sure to keep stirring it in regular intervals. Then take off the lid and cook for another 5 minutes if the mixture seems too watery. Take the mixture off heat and allow it to cool. Once it has completely cooled, blend it into a smooth sauce. Store in an air-tight containter in the fridge. Since there are no preservatives added, you’ve got to use this up as soon as possible (say within a week).

 Here is how i prepped the sauce when i made spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti and keep aside (*for tips on cooking pasta perfectly, check out this post – Cooking Pasta Al Dente). When the spaghetti is ready, place the strands in a circle on a plate. Heat about 2 tsp of olive oil on medium heat, add some slivers of garlic and slices of onion and fry them until the garlic starts to get brown. Tip in as much sauce as needed and stir it well. You can add some water to thin down the sauce if it is too thick for your liking. If you want to add any veges (mushrooms/grilled peppers/etc) add them into the sauce, give it all a good stir and then pour over the spaghetti. Enjoy! 🙂

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