This basic, useful-for-everything tomato sauce requires very little effort, and the real secret is time (oh, and one extra special Canadian ingredient). I like to make it in a heavy enameled cast-iron pot since metal pans will leave a metallic taste, but glass-ceramic dishes like Corning Ware can work very well also.
1-2 T (15-30ml) canola oil (or olive oil)
3c (750 ml) chopped onion (about 3 medium to large)
3T (45 ml) minced garlic (about 6 cloves)
2t (10 ml) dried basil
2t (10 ml) dried oregano
1t (5 ml) dried thyme
1t (5 ml) fresh ground pepper
1/2t (2 ml) fennel seeds, ground
2T (30ml) balsamic vinegar
1T (15ml) maple syrup
3 large cans no-salt added crushed tomatoes (or diced if you can’t find no salt crushed; just put them through the blender)
Cook the onion slowly in the oil until translucent. Add the garlic, and the remaining ingredients through fennel seeds. Cook for about one minute. Add balsamic and syrup, and cook for one more minute. Add tomatoes and simmer so it is barely bubbling, stirring occasionally, with no lid, for about an hour. (Alternately you can put it in the oven uncovered at 350F). When cooked, blend with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender until smooth.
This keeps well in the freezer. I use it as a soup base, on pizzas, or with vegetables or meat/meatballs added, as desired.
50 calories per half cup