It's been a very busy day. No time for a lot of cooking, so I headed to the pantry and the refrigerator to see what I could come up with for dinner.
Canned tomatoes? Check. Garlic and onions? Check. Italian Seasonings? Why, of course. Refrigerated fresh pasta? You betcha, and deliciously, in the form of Cheese Tortellini.
The stars of the recipe are the Tuscan Herb Olive Oil and Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar from our friends at King's Olive Oil.
Instead of running to the grocery store to buy a jar of marinara sauce, in about 30 minutes, I had a nice pot of marinara simmering away on the stove top. About an hour later, dinner was served.
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. salt
1 t. fennel seeds, crushed
2 T. Italian Seasoning
1/2 t. dried red pepper flakes
12 oz. can of tomato paste
3 oz. red wine (optional)
14.5 oz. can diced tomatoes
12 oz. water
1 t. capers with brine
1 T. sugar
few grinds of black pepper
In a 3 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and let cook 4 - 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, salt, crushed fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, and red pepper flakes. Stirring constantly, let cook 2 - 3 minutes.
Add tomato paste and stir to incorporate with the vegetables. It will thicken quickly. Stir constantly and let tomato paste cook for 2 - 3 minutes. Add wine, if using, diced tomatoes, and water. Bring to a gentle simmer. Stir in capers, sugar, and black pepper. Lower heat to lowest setting and let simmer for 30 - 45 mintues, stirring occasionally.
A few minutes before serving, add Sicilian Lemon Balsamic Vinegar. You will be amazed at the brightness and freshness the Balsamic Vinegar adds to the dish. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary.
Serve over your favorite pasta.