Tomato basil sauce

It’s been too long since I last posted, but it just didn’t seem right to be posting random recipes about food and my normal little life over here when such utter tragedy was taking place in my beautiful former hometown Boston this past week.  Now that the scariest part (hopefully) is over, I breathed a huge sigh of relief today, went shopping, and cooked a lot of things.  So I  am going to try to post a flurry of recipes over the next few days, including the delicious spinach gnocchi I made to go with this amazing yet really simple sauce.

I had a few new friends over for dinner to my place the other week and thought that making a “casual dinner” with homemade gnocchi and homemade tomato sauce along with some bread from scratch and a little dessert would be in order.  Naturally it all took just a bit longer than I thought, but I was really pleased with how this sauce came out in particular.  I’ve actually never made a pasta sauce before, but the simplicity of this recipe struck me and I thought the fresh basil especially would really add to it.  There are very few ingredients so make sure they are fresh, and of course make sure to add some freshly grated Parmesan cheese at the end.  This sauce could go over pasta or be the base for some meatballs or just would be great to dunk fresh bread in.  It’s also a really comforting meal, so I figured it was appropriate to post after this crazy week!

Tomato basil sauce (adapted from The Nutritional Epiphany)


1 container of cherry tomatoes, halved (or you can use 6 normal tomatoes)

1 medium yellow onion, diced

1 clove chopped garlic

1-2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups vegetable broth

10 fresh basil leaves, reserve some for garnish (you can also add some freshly chopped sage)

Salt, pepper, dried oregano

Grated Parmesan cheese for the top
In a medium skillet, spray with non-stick spray and add the onions and garlic.  If they stick to the pan, add a bit of the broth and some of the olive oil.  Once they start to brown and get soft, the olive oil and sautee your onions and garlic until they start to brown.  Add in your cherry tomatoes or normal tomatoes and cook for about 2 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add your broth and most of the chopped basil and sage if using, and simmer on low until the sauce darkens and most of the liquid has evaporated off.  As it’s simmering, add in some pepper and dried oregano or other mixed Italian spices.  

Once the sauce is done, plate it over your favourite pasta (preferably homemade of course) and grate fresh Parmesan over the top for maximum deliciousness.

IMG_4801Sauteing onions and garlic with a little broth and olive oil

IMG_4802Adding the cherry tomatoes


Adding in the broth and the fresh spices.  Make sure to let it simmer until it’s cooked down – I don’t have an “after” picture but you want there to be very little to no actual broth-y liquid left

IMG_4804Sauce over fresh spinach gnocchi with grated Parmesan on the top…so good!

This sauce was so fantastic I quickly made another batch of it about a week later to put in the freezer.  I’m not normally a big pasta eater but if you are having pasta this sauce seriously takes 20 minutes to make and is a million times better than pasta sauce out of a jar, so definitely give it a try!



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  1. […] can make it a white pizza and just put cheese on top, or also use tomato sauce (I like using my homemade one).  When your dough is ready to go, dust a surface with flour (or if you have cornmeal, you could […]

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