This is the sort of easy summer cooking I love: basic, fresh ingredients coming together as something altogether pleasing in a few short minutes. Although perfect over pasta–and I have included a simple, “every-night” recipe along with the sauce instructions below–this sauce is incredibly versatile. Use your imagination to create quick, flavorful meals based on what you love.
I particularly enjoy this rustic sauce over roasted or grilled eggplant, zucchini, and mushrooms. Consider picking your grain of preference, be it quinoa or brown rice, and creating your own option to the traditional pasta dinner. After cooking the grain, add the grilled or roasted veggies (even leftovers work well), stir in some of this chunky sauce, adding any other flavor boosters that may appeal. Mozzarella or feta cheese and Kalamata olives pair particularly well and make a simple combination of ingredients a little extra special.
Speedy Cherry Tomato Sauce is also delicious on this recipe for Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan, and I have a new all-in-one seafood spin on this recipe coming soon.
UPDATE: For variety, I occasionally make this by first sautéing 12 ounces of sausage (turkey or pork), removing the cooked and crumbled sausage to a plate, and then proceeding with the sauce recipe. When I don’t have fresh basil, I add 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano or Italian seasoning along with the salt and pepper. I’ve also added 2 thinly sliced shallots to the oil, cooking to soften, before adding the garlic. (More shallots would be good!) Then I toss in 12 ounces of cooked pasta, sprinkling with grated Parmesan to taste. A little reserved pasta water is nice to have on hand to loosen after the pasta been sitting a while.😊
Yields 4 - 6 servings; approximately 20 ounces of cooked sauce.