Ultimate Quick-and-Easy Pasta Sauce

by Susan on September 1, 2012

My last name is Napolitano, and everyone loves my signature pasta sauce. Now’s the time to confess, however, that it’s not my original recipe AND it’s not one that requires tons of ingredients or an entire Sunday to prep and simmer. Heck, it has “quick” and “easy” in the title, yet I promise this one will impress.

While it’s the season for fresh tomatoes, this one uses canned so can be part of your arsenal year-round. I would suggest, though, that you use fresh basil both in the sauce and as a garnish; there is nothing better than fresh basil and tomatoes!

Cooking Light’s Ultimate Quick-and-Easy Pasta Sauce was first featured in the magazine as an accompaniment to a chicken parmesan recipe. While I haven’t made it with chicken, it’s definitely my staple “red sauce,” and was the perfect accompaniment to last night’s pasta and meatball dinner.

I love that the original recipe comes with lots of potential for variation; I’m sharing my version, in which I use natural sweetener and a combination of crushed and diced tomatoes.

Ultimate Quick-and-Easy Pasta Sauce
from Cooking Light

1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 large yellow onion, diced
4-5 minced garlic cloves (I go for 5 as we’re all garlic lovers)
2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
1 packet stevia
2 tbs. chopped fresh basil
2 tbs. tomato paste
1/2 tsp. dried Italian seasoning (I recommend Penzey’s Tuscan Sunset)
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 14.5 oz can diced organic tomatoes
1 14.5 oz. can crushed organic tomatoes
2 tbs. chopped fresh parsley
salt, to taste

Heat oil in a saucepan or large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar through canned tomatoes and bring to a boil.

Reduce heat to medium, and cook, uncovered, about 15 minutes. Stir in parsley and season to taste with salt.


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