I’ve been on a bit of a spaghetti kick lately. And, even though it’s summer, I don’t mind having pots boiling on the stove every time I have a pasta craving. Maybe that’s because the temperature doesn’t get too hot here in Victoria; it usually hovers between 18-25°C, which is pretty ideal.
For some reason, when it comes to spaghetti sauce, I don’t have a great deal of patience. I like to keep the prep to a minimum and the cooking time under an hour. I’m sure a lot of my techniques would have every Italian yelling profanities at me while throwing blunt objects in my direction, but to me, as long as it tastes good, that’s all that matters.
This pasta sauce is quick, simple and easily customizable. I added some fennel powder which is very, very subtle, but it can be omitted if you absolutely can’t stand even the slightest hint of the spice. I’m like that with rosemary, so I understand where you’re coming from if you’re one of those people.
If you happen to be a fennel fan, I highly recommend these Dark Chocolate & Fennel Seed Cookies. The flavor is a lot more pronounced in that recipe. Hey, you could even make them for dessert after you have some pasta. 🙂
- 4 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 4-6 cloves of Garlic
- 1-2 fresh Chile Peppers (use 1 if you like mild)
- 2 tsp Oregano
- 1 tsp Ground Fennel (optional)
- ¼ cup Tomato Paste
- 2 cans Whole Tomatoes
- Handful of fresh Basil, roughly chopped
- 1-2 tsp Sea Salt (will vary depending on salt content of tomatoes)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Sugar
- Heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium high heat. Finely dice the chile pepper. Crush the garlic with the side of your knife then roughly chop it, and add it to the hot oil. Stir until browned, then add the chile, oregano, fennel and tomato paste. Quickly stir it together for about 30 seconds, then add the cans of whole tomatoes.
- Using an immersion blender, or potato masher, mash up the tomatoes in the pot. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Toss in the basil. Cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season with sugar and salt. Start with 1 tsp of salt, then add more as needed. Remove from heat and serve.
- * I find 2 tsp of salt is perfect if using tomatoes with no added salt