Sugar-Free Tangy Red Sauce
1 10 oz. can Diced Tomatoes, Undrained (There are many varieties of diced tomatoes in the store - only the most basic does not contain sugar. Check out the ingredients on the can, pick the one with the least amount of ingredients. All you want it tomatoes!)
1 8 oz. can Tomato Sauce (Same guidelines as the diced tomatoes)
1 4 oz. can Tomato Paste (Same guidelines)
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1/4 Red Onion, diced
1 Green Bell Pepper, diced
6 or more brown mushrooms, chopped
2-3 cloves Garlic
Half a bunch (6-10 spears) fresh or frozen Asparagus, cut to desired length; alternatively, about 2 cups fresh or frozen broccoli, chopped
1 Zucchini, diced
Small bunch Fresh Basil, chopped
Salt & Pepper
Crushed Red Peppers (optional)
This is the most flavorful, sugar-free, all natural Red Sauce! It is a crowd pleaser, and tastes as good, if not better, the next day for leftover lunch.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Sautee the diced red onion and green bell pepper in 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil until tender, about 3-4 minutes;
Add the chopped mushrooms and garlic until mushrooms are tender and the garlic is fragrant, 2-3 minutes;
Add the remaining vegetables you have selected - asparagus or broccoli, and zuchinni, and sautee until tender, about 3-5 minutes, depending on how many vegetables you are using.
Once the vegetables have reached desired tenderness, add the undrained can of Diced Tomatoes, and the can of Tomato Sauce, and Stir.
Once the sauce begins to bubble, turn the burner down to almost a simmer. The vegetables should be cooked by this point, so all you're doing now is heating the sauce and allowing the spices to simmer.
Add water and tomato paste to reach your desired level of consistency and amount of sauce. Extra water will thin the sauce, Tomato Paste will make it thicker. (About a 1/4 cup of water needs about 1 tablespoon of tomato paste to even out). Be sure to stir the tomato paste thouroughly so it is not chunky.
When you have reached the amount and desired consistency of sauce, turn the burner down to simmer and add the chopped Basil, a couple dashes of Oregano, and Salt & Pepper to taste. I like to add a shake or two of crushed red pepper to spice it up a bit, but be careful how much you use if you're unfamiliar with it.
My #1 tip for making tasty red sauce: Taste it often while adding the seasoning!
I like to let the spices sit on top in the middle of the sauce and let it simmer for a couple minutes before stirring them in. Once the sauce is hot, and your kitchen (if not the entire house) smells like an Italian restaurant, the sauce is ready.
Add to your favorite cooked pasta, and enjoy! Delicioso!