Kitchen Garden

Pantry Pasta Sauce

Pantry Shelf
Pantry Shelf

LAKE MACBRIDE— Dressing pasta is a culinary practice with so many variations, it is difficult to justify a single recipe over others. It is a matter of taste, available ingredients and tradition, so far be it from me to set anything in stone.

Prepared pasta sauce— the industrial food kind— is available at warehouse clubs and grocery stores, but it is hard to imagine ever bringing a jar home when it is so easy to make it in the kitchen. Here’s how.

Drain a quart of canned whole tomatoes in a colander, reserving the liquid.

Heat a skillet on medium high heat and coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Use the best oil you have.

Dice a medium onion according to preference and sautée in the heated oil.

Season with salt and pepper.

Mince five cloves of garlic and add to the pan. Cook until the onions are translucent. Don’t let the garlic burn.

Season with dried oregano and basil, fresh if you have it.

Add six ounces of tomato paste. Stir and heat until you can smell the tomato.

Add the drained whole tomatoes, chopping them with the edge of a spoon while stirring the mixture.

It is optional to add protein at this point. We use Morningstar Farms® Recipe Crumbles, although browned ground beef, pork, chicken, tofu, seitan or others could be substituted.

Once the ingredients are thoroughly incorporated, add the reserved tomato juice until the sauce has the desired fluid characteristics. Store any leftover juice in a jar in the ice box, or drink it.

Adjust seasoning.

Turn the heat to low and and simmer until the pasta is cooked.

Makes four generous servings.