Flavorful Basic Tomato Sauce

Original Recipe HERE

I made this primarily for the chicken tenders, since I'm always on the hunt for the "perfect chicken tenders" recipe.  Homemade ones are obviously better than frozen, breaded, preservative-laden ones, and they're a staple in most households with little kids (though I'm surprised at how take-'em-or-leave-'em mine are).  They turned out fine, though they didn't blow my mind - next time I'll try panko.  But the sauce was killer...a very "vibrant" and concentrated flavor.  It was used for dipping, as the recipe suggested, but I think it would be a great straight-up sauce when served with pasta (which can be pretty boring if you have nothing else added to your noodles).  So "the secret's in the sauce," as they say.  I envision making this with a kid-friendly pasta shape (my latest favorite is ruffles), meatballs, and garlic bread (cut into strips for dipping fun).

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup minced onion
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 15-ounce can of tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

1) Heat olive oil in medium pot over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, stirring often, until translucent (about 3 minutes).
2) Add garlic and cook another minute.
3) Add tomato paste.  Mix well and cook 1-2 minutes more.
4) Add tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, salt, and sugar. Bring to a boil and cook 5 minutes if using tomato sauce or 10 minutes if using crushed tomatoes.
5) Use an immersion blender, or put sauce into blender, and purée until smooth.  Sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week.

Notes: Maybe adding some spices - dried or fresh - to add more "flavor layers."  It could be turned into a cream sauce with the addition of 1/4 to 1/2 cup heavy cream.

Kid Participation:  None.

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