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Pasta and Homemade Red Sauce

By March 7, 2019Blog, On the farm, Recipes

Fresh tomato sauce from peak season tomatoes is one of life’s great delights. Yes, it is March in the Northeast, so for those of us who don’t can our own tomatoes in the summer, or if our stock begins to run low, this delight is painfully out of reach for most of the year. Luckily, there is a fix! We have the luxury of canned tomatoes which can be just as delicious with some cooking time and extra seasoning. If you want to go a step further, you can find tasty and convenient jarred red sauce, but at The Sylvia Center, we love to teach our students how it comes together from scratch. Then they can be the judge of whether or not it’s worth the extra effort.

Pair this with our roasted broccoli and you’ll have yourself a beautifully balanced, summer-like meal. Where you fall on the scale of “I could use another snowstorm” and “I need warmth and dry weather. Now.” will determine how quickly it ends up on your dinner table.

Pasta and Homemade Red Sauce
Serves 6


1 lb. pasta, any shape
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons fresh oregano, minced OR 2 teaspoons, dried
4 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 15 oz. can tomato puree
5 oz. spinach
½ cup fresh basil, torn or sliced
Grated parmesan
Salt and pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes


1. Cook pasta according to instructions on the box, or until it is al dente. Drain and reserve ½ cup pasta water.

2. In a medium pot, heat olive oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Add garlic and oregano, cook until fragrant.

4. Add tomato paste and cook until it starts to brown slightly. Then add crushed tomatoes and tomato puree.

5. Simmer on low for at least 30 minutes. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper as needed. Continue simmering until you reach your desired thickness.

6. Off heat, stir in spinach until wilted. Toss sauce with pasta, half of the basil, and some grated cheese. Oncer served, top each bowl with more basil and grated parmesan.