1/4 cup virgin olive oil
1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped onions (I prefer silver or white onions)
6 garlic cloves minced (big cloves now, no wimpy ones allowed!)
6 medium-sized whole Roma tomatoes (sliced and cubed with peels on)
1 14-ounce can crushed or chopped Roma tomatoes
1 cup tightly packed, pitted, and chopped Kalamata olives (yum! yum!)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons drained capers
1/2 tablespoon dried crushed basil (or 1 tablespoon rough-chopped fresh basil, which is better I think)
1/2 tablespoon dried crushed red pepper flakes (or "a pinch" of cayenne pepper)
salt and pepper to taste
1 pound penne pasta, cooked al-dente
In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add some butter, if you like, for extra flavor (I always do!). Add the cubed fresh Roma tomatoes first to hot oil with some of the basil, salt, and a little red pepper. Tomatoes will cook down quickly in 4 or 5 minutes. Add the onion and sautÃ© until soft and lightly caramelized, about 6 to 7 more minutes. Add the garlic and cook an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the canned tomatoes and the remaining ingredients and simmer until the sauce is thickened and slightly reduced, about 20 more minutes. Adjust seasoning, to taste, cover and set aside. Add cooked penne pasta (or whatever) right into the pan and toss for 1 minute. Mag-knee-fee-co!!
NB: You may want to add a little water to the sauce from-to-time since it will thicken pretty well on its own. It has a very hearty flavor and likes a good portion of freshly grated Parmesan cheese on it, right before serving. This recipe makes a lot, so I hope you have a hungry group waiting.
This is one of my fiancÃ©â€™s favorite pasta Dishes, and sheâ€™s encouraging me to be veggie. I must say Iâ€™m enjoying it more than I thought. Thanks Jango!