The Center for Science in the Public Interest calls home-made spaghetti sauce “better than bottled.” I call it “easier than you think.” Contrary to what I’ve found in a lot of overpriced cookbooks, pasta sauce works just fine if you let it cook for just as long as it takes your pasta to boil.


half a small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
6-8 small roma tomatoes or 4-6 large red tomatoes
1 small green bell pepper (optional)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

Sauté the onion and garlic in a saucepan. (Place the onions in the pan first, and add the garlic on top of the onion. This procedure will keep the garlic from burning.) Turn the heat to low or medium-low.

While the onion and garlic are cooking, chop the tomatoes into cubes. An easy way to chop them is to slice them in half, then julienne the halves, and then chop the julienne slices into small cubes. Some people prefer large chunks while others prefer a very smooth texture close to purée. Either size works fine for this recipe and the cooking time does not need altering for large or small cubes.

Place the tomatoes into the onion and garlic sauté and stir. Add the diced bell pepper (optional) and stir. Add the spices and stir again. Let simmer whilst preparing pasta. Stir occasionally, turning down the flame if it sticks.

When the pasta is done, spoon the sauce onto the individual servings of pasta or mix with the entire batch, following your own custom.

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