Simple Tomato Sauce

A sweet friend gave me about three pounds of some very ripe tomatoes.  I decided to make the simplest tomato sauce with the most minimal of ingredients and it was outstanding.  I served it over penne with a green salad.  It was very little effort, ingredients and time and tasted like something that had been fussed over for the better part of an afternoon.

Fresh tomato sauce

3 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes

1 14 oz can of tomato sauce

2 T of tomato paste

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Handful of chopped fresh basil

Boil a large pot of water.

Skin the tomatoes by cutting a small X in the bottom of the tomato and letting it sit in boiling water for a minute.  The skins should easily slip off.  Reserve your pot of boiling water to cook your pasta.

Heat the olive oil over medium heat and then set the tomatoes in the pan to soften.  When they have sizzled in the oil for a few minutes, mash them with a potato masher, turn down the heat to medium low and let them simmer for about 5 minutes.  Add the tomato sauce,  2 tablespoons of tomato paste and salt and pepper to taste and simmer until thickened slightly.

Cook the pasta to al dente.  Add fresh basil to the sauce when you are ready to serve.  Toss the pasta with the sauce and pass freshly grated parmesan and crushed red pepper at the table.

-Andra

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