Summer is here which means Basil and Tomatoes are in season. Heck yes.
A simple health philosophy of mine is to eat S.O.U.L food. And avoid eating S.A.D foods. SOUL stands for Seasonal, Organic, Unprossed, Local. SAD of course is the Standard American Diet.
In the spirit of honoring that philosophy I made tomato basil sauce since the two main ingredients are at their peak right now.
This recipe requires 8 main ingredients and 15 minutes of prep.
You could come home from work, get it on the stove and let it simmer for the next 1-3 hours while you do everything else on your list whatever that may be. The longer it simmers the better it tastes since the flavors have time to blend and meld together.
Cooking tomatoes increases or unleashes the lycopene content, a phytochemical that has cancer fighting and heart healthy properties, and increases the availability of antioxidants for absorption in the body. It’s a rare example of where cooking can increase nutritional value of a food.
Here is the rough estimate recipe, I didn’t measure exactly and adjusted a lot to taste.
I reccomend you do the same. Taste the sauce after every step or even every time you stir to see how its coming along. Its a great way to learn how to develope flavor and see how each ingredient effects one another.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR ADJUSTING TO TASTE:
- If its bland add more salt or tamari.
- If you are watching your salt content and its a little MEH tasting load up on the garlic powder.
- If its too sweet you could try crushed red pepper or cayenne to give it a kick.
- If the basil isn’t as bright as you’d like add more and remember to add fresh basil on top of the pasta or vegetables.
- If its to thick- add vegetable broth
- too tomato-y- add vegetable broth and tamari
- Want some extra umami or cheese flavor- nutritional yeast.
If you are looking for more great tips to make your food taste auh-mazing, check out this article.
In a large sauce pan with lid, melt oil. Add onion, cook for 3 min. Season with salt & pepper.
Add garlic, cook for 1 minute stirring often. Season with salt and pepper.
Add in chopped tomatoes, basil and tomato paste. Stir to combine and let simmer for 35min, stirring occasionally.
Add vegetable broth, Tamari and season with spices. Stir, adjust and let simmer for 2-3 hours if possible, stirring occasionally.
(substitues for tamari are regular soy sauce or braggs liquid aminos- I didn't test these options but I think they would yeild the same salty, umami flavor the Tamari does. You could also try more salt or garlic power. However adding more salt could make the sauce taste sweeter which might not want)
Add to vegetables or pasta.
Store in fridge for 1 week or freezer up to a month.
I made gluten free quinoa/brown rice pasta from Trader Joes.
Mix the pasta with some olive oil and salt once done. Load up on the tomato basil sauce. Add freshly chopped basil, kalamata olives or capers and nutritional yeast.