Pasta Sauce

Here is my families favorite marinara sauce. If you want to add meat to it, simply grill some chicken breast, slice and add to finished sauce. I personally don't add any meat and it is very filling. I highly recommend growing your own tomatoes if you have space and/or the right climate. I garden organically and the tomatoes are vine ripened to perfection, making the sauce a deep rich red. Also, the price of fresh herbs in the grocery store is disgusting. I grow my own basil in my garden and I think I paid a buck or two for them. What is great about having your own spices in your garden besides the obvious economic savings, is that my herbs are pesticide free and I harvest only what I am using for the recipe, and my plants regenerate by the time I am ready for the next harvest. It's a win/win. They really are easy to grow and if you have kids, very fun for them to get involved in the growing/cooking process. Plus, I am just plain cheap and prefer to grow my own.

4-5 lbs fresh roma tomatoes (sliced in half with gel and seeds removed)
3-4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
1-2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
1 TBSP granulated sugar

In a food processor, puree the roma tomatoes and set aside. In a large (8qt or better pot) saute the basil and garlic for 1-2 minutes. DO NOT brown the garlic as it WILL be bitter if you do! Add the pureed tomatoes, salt, pepper and sugar. Heat for approximately 10 to 15 minutes on medium. You aren't trying to boil the sauce, just heat it up.

I serve the sauce with angel hair or penne pasta. Grated Parmesan cheese is great as a garnish too. Add some garlic bread and a little salad and your ready!

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