Thursday, 8 September 2011

Simple Garlicky Spaghetti Sauce

PASTA! Pasta has always been one of my happy meals....leaves me full and content...and there is something about it that feels like home to me.  My mom and I ate a lot of pasta when I was a kid.  Finding out I had to go gluten free wasn't bad until I realized that meant no pasta....then I cried.  I have found ways around the noodle thing (there is a trick to cooking rice noodles so they are painful close to a wheat noodle texture but more on that later) and I can still enjoy my favourite sauces.

I make a lot of different kinds of tomato sauce.  Ones packed full of vegetables and almost sweet, or the almost sea saltiness of good puntanesca, or in this case a perfect simple super garlicky sauce.  This prepared in about 10 minutes.  Then just let it simmer.

1/2 cup of good olive oil (no I am not kidding, I do mean 1/2 cup)
4-8 cloves of garlic, minced (depends on size, I have been lucky enough to get some really beautiful stiff neck organic lately with big potent cloves)
2 28 oz or 796ml good canned tomatoes or home jarred (the quality of the canned tomatoes can make or break this.  Cheap canned tomatoes can taste acidic and almost tinny.  It really is worth it to spend the money on good tomatoes, especially for this sauce that has very little other ingredients. I prefer tomatoes packed in pulp not juice.
a bunch of basil, thinly sliced
1/2-1 tsp cayenne or dried chillies (optional)

Heat the oil over medium heat in a medium sized sauce pan.  Add the garlic and let it cook for a couple of minutes but don't let it brown (if you are using chillies this is the time to add them, let them cook in the oil and garlic for 30 seconds before adding the tomatoes)

Then add the tomatoes. I let the liquid dump out holding back the tomatoes which I then squish up well in my hand before letting them fall into the pot.  Stir to combine, bring to a simmer and turn the heat down to maintain a light simmer.  Nearing the end and before serving add the basil and cayenne if using

Optional - using a hand blender puree to make a smoother sauce

There are a million different uses for this sauce and I hope to introduce you to some of them over the coming weeks

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