There is nothing better than a great sauce to go on a big plate of pasta. I learned this first hand last year on a family vacation to Italy. From the Bolognese to the Osso Buco we needed lots of bread to sop up every drop of the sauces left on our plates. I’ve been trying to capture that feeling and taste ever since we got back to the United States.
When I came up with this recipe, Simple Tomato Herb Sauce, I was trying to please my nieces and nephew who tend to be picky eaters. I needed something tasty and really quick so I pureed the vegetables before cooking and then adding the herbs and then finally the tomatoes. I used a carrot instead of sugar. I also experimented with both whole and crushed San Marzano tomatoes. For some reason the whole tomatoes were less acidic than the crushed tomatoes so I stuck with the whole ones. I also initially simmered it for only about five minutes which made the sauce taste a little more like a gazpacho style sauce which was very fresh tasting. The taste varies depending on how long you simmer the sauce.
As far as the pasta, the first time I made this sauce I served it with angel hair pasta. It was a huge hit with not only the kids but the adults too. The next time I served it with cappalletti. It was pretty and collected the sauce nicely in the twists. Even though this last time I made the sauce I served it with penne pasta, my favorite is still the angel hair, but it really boils down to what your family’s favorite pasta is.
The simplicity of this dish reminds me of Italy and even though we weren’t sitting in an Italian trattoria, the sauce definitely brought us back to that special Italian vacation with all the fresh tastes of Italy.