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Tomato Basil Red Sauce

I am not a huge fan of almost any canned pasta sauce, I prefer a tomato, basil, balsamic flavor over the flavors that go into a "marinara" sauce. That, among other reasons is why I make my own. I have, in the past, cut a tom of fresh tomatoes and cooked them down. The result has always been delicious, but also quite tedious. This time, I decided to give some canned tomato products a try. There are so many options for canned organic fruit and vegetable products these days. Well, first of all, it was delicious. And second, it easily shaved an hour off of my typical sauce prep time. By purchasing organic canned crushed tomatoes and organic canned fire roasted diced tomatoes, I seriously saved soooo much time. And I was also able to make 5-6 jars of sauce that can be stored for a month and tastes superior (in my opinion) to the other stuff that can be purchased on the shelves.

Ingredients: 4 tbsp olive oil, divided 10-12 garlic cloves 3 tbsp tomato paste 2 28 oz cans of crushed tomatoes 2 14.5 oz cans for diced fire roasted tomatoes 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar 2 3/4 oz packages of basil 10.5 oz fresh golden, cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered 1 tbsp salt 1 tbsp black pepper 1 tbsp red pepper flakes 2 tbsp garlic powder 1tbsp onion powder

Instructions: 1. In a LARGE sauté pan, measure out 1 tbsp of olive oil. Mince the garlic and stir until browned. This will be about 3-4 minutes. 2. Add the tomato paste, diced and crushed tomatoes. 3. Add the 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar and the other 3 tbsp of olive oil. Stir it all together. 4. Quarter the golden (or cherry or grape) tomatoes and add them to the mix along with the chopped up basil. 5. Add the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder and garlic powder to the pan. Stir together thoroughly and allow the flavors to cook together and reduce for 20-30 minutes; making sure to stir the sauce so that it doesn't burn or boil over. 6. If you're going to can the excess, pour the sauce into mason jars and submerge in boiling water for 10 minutes. Once the water has cooled, remove the jars and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.

Serve with Chicken Parmesan, Linguine and Meatballs or any other dish you would use a red sauce for. Enjoy!

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