This balsamic tomato sauce was so easy to make and it really hit the spot when I wanted something hearty but not too involved or time-consuming to make. It’s simple and tastes that way, but the balsamic adds a richness and depth of flavor that was lovely.
I’d been promising my vegan boyfriend a batch of spaghetti forever. I wanted something a little different and richer than the usual tomato sauce. I used gluten-free spaghetti noodles, but this sauce would be delicious on any sort of pasta.
A Few Health Benefits of Tomatoes
Tomatoes are tasty but also incredibly nutritious.
- Lycopene: Tomatoes contain the powerful antioxidant, Lycopene. It’s a red carotenoid that lowers the risk of heart disease and cancer.
- Diabetes: Tomatoes help reduce blood sugar and can be beneficial in preventing and managing diabetes.
- Vitamin K: Vitamin K is used by the body to help blood clot and is present in tomatoes. Vitamin K plays an important role in bone health, working synergistically with calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin D to regulate bone metabolism and helps prevent osteoporosis.
- Potassium: Also beneficial for heart health and blood pressure control and, you guessed it, you can find it in tomatoes.
- Naringenin: You might not have heard of this yet, but it’s a compound found in tomato skins that can decrease inflammation.
Balsamic vinegar is made from what’s known as grape must, which is juice from crushed grapes that also includes the skins, seeds, and stems. It’s aged anywhere from a few months for most brands commonly found in grocery stores for $10 and under, to as many as 25 years or more. Some of the most expensive brands can cost as much as $1000 per liter. For the rest of us, very good quality 18 years aged balsamic can be found for $20-$30.
“Curative” Balsamic vinegar doesn’t contain any actual balsam. Its name means “balsam-like,” which means restorative or curative. Like tomatoes, it reduces cardiovascular disease and lowers blood pressure as well as improves skin and promotes healthy digestion.
Easy Balsamic Tomato Sauce
This sauce is a rich, hearty blend of tomato and balsamic vinegar. It goes great over any sort of pasta.
- 1/2 cup chopped onion or shallots
- 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 15 oz can diced tomatoes drained
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp sugar optional, or equivalent stevia
- 1 tbsp dried basil or 3 tbsp fresh
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp salt or to taste
- 1 tsp cracked black pepper or to taste
- vegan cheese shreds optional
In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, over medium-high heat, saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened and brown. Water saute or use a tablespoon or two of olive oil.
Add the remaining ingredients except for the cheese shreds and heat to a bubbling simmer. Lower the heat to medium and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Serve over your choice of pasta and top with vegan cheese shreds, if desired.