Triple Tomato Pasta Sauce

Triple Tomato Pasta Sauce

Triple Tomato Pasta Sauce

This pasta sauce takes as much time as adding the extra rosemary, thyme, oregano (and sometimes more flavourings!) needed to make a store bought ready-to-eat sauce actually flavourful enough to be truly ready to eat. Plus it’s a fraction of the price, especially compared to the gourmet sauces that serve only two meals at an average of $10 per jar.

I always use Italian San Marzano canned whole plum tomatoes, but according to a blind taste test of various whole canned tomatoes by Epicurious staff, you can make a flavourful well balanced sauce from USA or Canada grown tomatoes. 

Scratch pasta sauce lives close to my heart in part because it was one of the first dishes I failed miserably at making when I first starting cooking for myself. For some reason I believed I could make a perfect sauce without a recipe and very little cooking knowledge. It was pasta sauce that taught me it's not an admittance of failure to use a recipe. For a novice cook recipes are there to teach different flavour combinations and cooking techniques. For more experienced cooks recipes can serve as a loose guide to expand flavour profiles and techniques. 

But this recipe actually comes to the blog on request. It seems my university roommate has been silently reminiscing about a spicy lentil tomato sauce I made constantly some 7 years ago… So it seems in the span of those first five years of cooking fails and successes, pasta sauce became one of the success stories.

This recipe is from a pre-FODMAP time, when I was a long-time vegetarian and ate lentils or other beans daily. After my low FODMAP elimination, I know my digestive tract has a hard time with lentils, garlic and onion, but wheat is well tolerated. So these days I usually make the sauce without lentils and the garlic and onion removed, and serve with a whole grain pasta like Jovial Einkorn to round out the protein in the meal. In a meal with 1 cup Einkorn noodles there’s 26 grams protein - the Einkorn pasta is the darker coloured penne in the photo above.  For the Italian-blooded in the house who prefers white to whole grain pasta, yes this dietitian cooks up classic white pasta.

Triple Tomato Pasta Sauce

Makes: 3 3/4 cups, serves 4            Cooking time: 40 minutes

  • 1 tbsp rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tbsp oregano, chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced (FODMAPers: crushed)
  • 1/2 ea onion, diced (FODMAPers: chopped in large pieces)
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 x 28oz canned whole tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp chili flakes
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup red split lentils
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil (for garnish)
  • fresh grated parmesan (for garnish)
  1. Heat a large pot at medium heat, and add the olive oil. Once hot add the onions and sauté until l translucent. 
  2. Add the garlic, rosemary, oregano, and thyme and heat for 1 more minute. 
    FODMAPers: remove garlic & onion, and discard or save for non-FODMAPers in the house to eat.
  3. Add the canned whole tomatoes, tomato paste, sun-dried tomatoes, chili flakes, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper and increase heat to high. 
  4. Let simmer without lid for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally and crushing the whole tomatoes with your spoon. 
  5. Add red split lentils, and cook for 15-25 minutes more until liquid in sauce reduces to desired thickness.  A wire splatter screen is incredibly useful to keep the splatter mess under control and reduce clean-up time. 
  6. Top your choice of pasta with sauce, garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan cheese. 

Nutrition facts (per serving): 280 calories, 7g fat, 40g carbohydrates, 16g sugar, 9g fibre, 14g protein. 

Happy cooking! 
~ Shannon Smith, RD