Pasta in fresh tomato and basil sauce must be the Italian definition of Comfort food. The classic combination of tomato basil pasta sauce never fails to delight. In fact, I can’t really picture basil leaves without thinking about tomatoes as well!
This is a very simple pasta sauce made with onions, fresh tomatoes and basil plucked right from my balcony plant. There is just a very basic seasoning of garlic, salt, and pepper. When it comes to cooking, sometimes less is more. In order for the flavors of tomato and basil to shine, you don’t need to add much to the sauce. But there is one trick to every good tomato sauce!
For a good tomato pasta sauce…
Tomatoes are very acidic and sour. In any tomato sauce recipe, add just a little bit of sugar. The sugar cuts the acidity and the sourness of tomatoes and actually enhances their flavour.
You can use the same trick in tomato soups and other tomato-based curries too.
And there is one more trick to a good pasta sauce…
add a little bit of the water in which the pasta was cooked to the sauce. The water has starch from the pasta which makes the sauce thicker and creamier.
Do you have any other tip for a good pasta sauce recipe? Would love to know!
Tomato and basil can totally rule the kitchen. My basil plant is in full bloom and I am thinking creamy tomato basil soup or a cherry tomato and basil omelet for breakfast. Of course, when you think of tomato and basil, you will often also think of mozzarella. Caprese salad, as it is called, is one of my favourite salad recipe.
In this particular pasta recipe, I’ve used gluten-free shell pasta made of rice, There is no cheese in the sauce at all and I didn’t sprinkle any on top. The recipe is vegan, gluten-free, creamy, and super delicious.
If you end up making extra, you can also try pappa al pomodoro salad, the Italian bread and tomato salad, with the leftover tomato basil pasta sauce.
If you like this recipe, please take a moment to rate it and/or leave your comments at the end of the blog. It will really encourage me to keep exploring, learning and improving.
Tomato basil pasta sauce
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 200 g pasta of your choice , I have used gluten-free shell pasta
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic , crushed
- 2 onions , chopped
- 6 medium tomatoes , puréed
- ½ tsp sugar
- Salt , to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper , to taste
- 10-12 fresh basil leaves , roughly torn (keep a few aside for garnish)
- In a deep stock pot, bring 8 cups of water to boil. Add pasta along with 1 tsp salt and cook until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, heat 2 tbsps of Olive oil in a pan. Add crushed garlic and sauté for about a minute. This infuses the oil with fresh garlic flavor.
- Next add the onions and sauté for 5 minutes till the onions turn soft.
- Add the tomato puree, sugar, salt, and pepper. Mix well and cook for about 8-10 mins.
- Drain the cooked pasta. Reserve about 2-3 tbsps of pasta water.
- Remove the tomato sauce from heat. Add fresh basil and then purée the sauce using a hand blender in the pan itself.
- Add the cooked pasta along with the reserved pasta water to the tomato basil sauce.
- Mix well and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Remove on serving dish, garnish with fresh basil, and serve hot.
- The flavor of this easy tomato basil sauce is in using fresh ingredients. Try to use fresh tomatoes instead of canned. Same goes with basil, fresh basil has intense aroma and flavor which is lost when dried.
- The tomato basil sauce can be stored in an air-tight container and stored in the fridge for up to 5 days.
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