Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: 3 1/2 cups
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
1 16 oz. can tomato puree
1 small can tomato paste
Fresh Thyme sprig
Fresh Basil sprig
2 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2-1 lbs cooked ground beef (optional)
Heat oil in a medium sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, their juice, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer, and cook covered, for 10 minutes. Chop and add the herbs and simmer for a few more minutes until cooked through.
Remove and discard the thyme sprigs. Stir in the salt and season with pepper, to taste. Use now or store covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 2 months.
Cook's note: Add fresh chopped herbs at the end for a fuller herb flavor. This is also great with pasta.