After watching the documentary Fed Up, I have been paying close attention to sugar content in food I purchase. I was completely shocked when I read the label of pasta sauce that I regularly purchase and found out it has 42 grams of sugar in one jar. My first thought was why is added sugar in this at all? I eat at least 1/4th of the jar for a pasta meal and it dawned on me how all the added sugar in products like this can add up rapidly making it easy to shoot by a healthy intake of sugar per day. There are a couple brands of canned pasta sauce that have about half the sugar content of the type I had been purchasing; Rao’s being one. This would be one way to reduce your sugar intake if you are looking for convenience and didn’t want to make pasta sauce from scratch; instead I decided to make my own pasta sauce. When it comes down to it making it yourself from scratch is by far the best way to ensure healthy eating and it tastes far better. As for the time it takes to make it, I made enough to have leftovers for a few meals, cutting my cooking time later. This is a great way to save time for someone like myself who sometimes gets off from work as late as 8 p.m.
I looked through recipes for pasta sauce online and many of the recipes call for tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Tomato paste has added sugar and canned tomatoes don’t taste nearly as good as fresh ones. I manipulated the pasta sauce recipes and made my own eliminating anything with added sugar and using completely fresh ingredients. I got to say it came out amazing… This is what I came up with and it makes enough for 4-6 people or in my case about three meals after a late night at work.
6 tomatoes – peel and chop. Put in medium size pan and cook down over medium heat.
1 onion – chopped.
4 garlic cloves – minced.
2 tablespoons of olive oil – over medium high heat grill onion and garlic in oil for 2 minutes.
I eyeballed the amount for rest of the ingredients. Add the following to the onion and garlic and grill for 1-2 mins stirring constantly.
Dried or fresh Basil – used liberally.
Balsamic vinegar – around 2-3 tablespoons.
Hot sauce – around 2 tablespoons.
Italian Herbs – mixed Italian herbs. Sold in spice section at store.
Dash of sea salt. I didn’t use much of this because there is salt in hot sauce.
Crushed red pepper. I love this stuff so I used it liberally.
Move the onion garlic spice mixture to the sauce pan with the tomatoes and simmer for 45 mins, stirring every few mins. While simmering, cook your favorite pasta, steam a vegetable and BBQ a protein. Poor over your favorite pasta and serve. I had a BBQ chicken apple sausage and steamed kale for my sides; a healthy and delicious meal!