We all love pasta , don’t we and especially the kids . Pasta seems to be their all time favorite. And how easy it is to pop open a can of pasta sauce and toss up a quick meal . But did you know that store bought sauces comes with bonus ingredients in form of high fructose corn syrup , so many preservatives and additives , high sodium ,sometimes added colors and may be things we aren’t even aware of . I agree we all have busy lives and store bought stuff makes our life easier. But if we plan smartly we can enjoy a healthy lifestyle and feed our children more nutritious , fresh and healthy foods.
Making pasta sauce at home isn’t a tedious job and it can be made ahead of time and stored well in the fridge and even freezer for later use. If you haven’t tried it yet do give it a shot. I am sure you and your loved ones will love it.
You will be amazed how quick and easy it is to make this pasta sauce and it tastes fabulous because of all the fresh ingredients going into it.
Today I am sharing a pasta sauce which I call as an express pasta sauce with ingredients found in every household. Arrabbiata and marinara are the most commonly used red sauces for pasta. The only difference is arrabiatta has added red chilly flakes or chilly powder or fresh chillies to make it a bit spicy and marinara is sans spice.
We love our food spiced up hence this time it was arrabiatta sauce for us .
I haven’t used any store bought tomato paste for this .Its literally a pasta sauce from scratch using fresh produce .
I have even used wheat flour to thicken the sauce . It gives so much body that a sauce needs in a very less time . No need to simmer it for hours.
Can be made ahead of time
The best part of making sauces at home is you have full control on what goes into the sauce.
No boiling or blanching needed – truly express one.
Add or subtract stuff , choice is yours .
In this express pasta sauce tomatoes are the main ingredient but I have even carrots for 2 main reasons
- My son despises carrots , so it’s a great way to sneak it in his diet
- If by chance the tomatoes are tart , the carrots impart a beautiful flavor balancing the overall taste .
- More veggies means more nutrition
Given below is step by step instructions followed by the recipe and important notes.
Start with a heavy bottom non stick pan . Drizzle some oil and sautee the garlic ,onions and some salt
Once translucent , add the wheat flour
sautee for 30 secs
Add pepper powder or chilly flakes
Give it a quick mix and then add the prepared puree
Give it a quick mix and cover it as its going to splatter a bit . let it simmer on low medium heat for 15 minutes stirring it occasionally .
see how beautiful it looks
Now is the time to add any dried herbs if desired and black pepper
Mix it well and cook for another 5 minutes . taste test and make adjustments to the seasoning if desired. You are done. For final touches you can drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on the top . It even increases the shelf life of the sauce.
Storing pasta sauce
It will stay good in the fridge for a week and in the freezer upto 3 months .
You can make a big batch of pasta sauce and store it portion wise in freezer safe bags or air tight containers . Once thawed donot refreeze . That is why freezing in small portions and divided quantity is recommended .
express pasta sauce
- 3 tablespoons cooking olive oil /canola oil or any other
- 1 cup chopped onions
- 1 medium size steamed carrot
- 6 -7 medium size ripe tomatoes
- 4 cloves garlic roughly chopped
- 1 tablespoon wheat flour*
- Salt to taste
- 1 teaspoon red / cayenne pepper or chilly flakes optional*
- 2 teaspoon or more honey / sugar*
- 1 tablespoon dried italian herbs
- handful of fresh basil optional
- Chop the tomatoes and carrots and puree them together
- Heat oil in a non stick pan
- Once well heated add the chopped garlic and sautee it until golden .
- Add chopped onions and some salt
- Sautee it until onions are translucent
- Add the wheat flour and sautee it for 30 seconds
- Add red chilly powder and the prepared tomato carrot puree and give a quick mix
- Cover it and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes on medium low heat stirring occasionally .
- Uncover and add remaining herbs , black pepper and salt .
- Add honey or sugar if tomatoes are tart
- taste test at this point and adjust seasoning accordingly.
- Simmer for 5-7 minutes more and switch off the flame. Add chopped fresh basil at the end.
- use as desired.
The final outcome of pasta sauce highly depends on the quality of tomatoes you use . Try picking up nicely ripened and juicy tomatoes.
if your sauce feels dry in between cooking , just add ¼ cup or more water and let it simmer for few minutes
If by any chance you don’t find sweet tomatoes , i.e if the tomatoes are a bit tart then just add some honey or increase the amount of carrots and you will have the best homemade pasta sauce ever .
Adding spice is optional
You can substitute wheat flour with all purpose flour/ maida.
Now you don’t have a single reason not to try it.
This recipe can easily be doubled .
I made spaghetti for dinner last night
if you happen to try it do not forget to give me your feedback and rate this recipe . You can send me your tried recipe clicks as a message on my facebook page carveyourcraving so that i can publish it under the readers testimonial section.