Some time ago I shared the recipe I use when I make a large batch of red sauce in the crockpot. I decided to just use the generic term of “red sauce” because it’s a versatile tomato based sauce with Italian type seasonings that can be used in lots of different ways – in different pasta dishes, as a sauce for a variety of meat based entrees, or on a homemade pizza.
At our house, we really like the addition of the red pepper flakes in that recipe that gave a nice heat to the sauce (something we seldom taste in a store bought jar of sauce), and slowly simmering it in the crockpot for several hours really helps to meld the flavors together too. The jarred sauces just didn’t taste as good to us anymore once we got used to our homemade red sauce.
But there are times when I haven’t planned ahead to make my large crockpot sized batch of sauce. And for those times I decided I needed a smaller sized version of this recipe too that I could make in a pinch when I needed some sauce for the evening meal. Now of course, I’m not totally opposed to buying a jar of spaghetti sauce at the store to keep in the pantry for those busy nights. BUT, having a can of crushed tomatoes in the pantry for this recipe can result in a tasty sauce too, PLUS when you make your own, you have more control over the ingredients. You get to decide how much more salt, sugar, oil, or spices to add into your spaghetti sauce. And if you don’t have time to make your own deluxe homemade sauce from fresh tomatoes, this little trick from a can of crushed tomatoes works pretty good too.
So I’m calling this my Simple Spaghetti Sauce because that’s how I most often use this smaller sized version – To use over cooked spaghetti for a simple evening meal, and to take advantage of the the spices and cans I keep in the pantry.
Here's how to make a simple spaghetti sauce from a can of crushed tomatoes and your pantry spices.
- 1 28 oz can Crushed Tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil (optional)
- 1/2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt
- 1/2 teaspoon Basil
- 1/2 teaspoon Oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat on the stove.
Let the sauce simmer for 10 to 15 minutes to let the flavors mingle before using.
And as a final note, my original large batch version contained ¼ cup of olive oil, however, I’ve lately been trying to reduce the oil in my diet (after reading the book Reverse and Prevent Heart Disease). So I’ve now been leaving the oil out of this recipe and it doesn’t seem to make that much difference, and therefore I made that ingredient optional.
Oh, and finally, finally . . . you can of course change-up this recipe in lots of different ways using the spices you prefer. Or perhaps you have fresh herbs and garlic in the house you want to use up. Just start with a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, add the seasonings of your choice, let it simmer for a bit, and you’re good to go!