Sharyns Prized Pasta Sauce
6-8 roma tomatoes
2 tablespoon olive oil (or enough to coat bottom of a large sauce pan)
1 medium onion, chopped coarsely
3 - 4 cloves of garlic (more or less to taste, I like TONS of garlic and usually use 5 or 6 cloves)
1 14.5-oz can of diced tomatoes, with onion and garlic
1 8-oz can of tomato sauce
1 6-oz can of tomato paste
1½ teaspoon crushed pepper flake (more or less to taste, I like about 2 tsp)
2 teaspoon dried rosemary
2 teaspoon dried basil
2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 cup of fresh basil
1 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoon salt (I like sea salt when cooking Italian foods, but Kosher or table salt would work just fine, too)
Warm pan over low heat with olive oil (if oil begins to smoke, remove from heat). Add the onion and garlic, and cook till onions are soft and translucent, but not caramelized. Add the Roma tomatoes and the 2 teaspoon of salt, as well as a couple cracks of fresh-ground pepper (pre-ground is fine, too, just use a little extra). Cook the tomatoes until their juice begins to give, about five minutes, over medium heat. If you have any Roma tomatoes that are somewhat past their prime (but still edible), this is a great way to help them achieve their destiny; just cut out any yicky bits you may come across.
Add the canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, and blend until well-combined. Add the pepper flake, rosemary, basil and oregano, and allow to simmer over LOW heat for half an hour to let the flavors marry. You COULD jump the gun and just wait till all the herbs and spices are heated down and slightly softened, but trust me, your sauce won't be nearly as flavorful.
After about half an hour, give it a taste and see if there's any flavor adjustments that need to be made, cause this is the time to do your tweaking and personalize it for yourself and your family. Just before serving, add the balsamic vinegar and chopped-chopped fresh basil. This would also make a great pizza sauce, just omit the balsamic vinegar and add a couple tablespoons of vegetable stock instead, and blend until very smooth.
My favorite way to serve this up is to allow it to cool and refrigerate until the next day (to allow all the flavors to fully come together), re-heat and add chopped-up bits of vegetarian sausage, served over rotini pasta.