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Tomato Sauce (Salsa di Pomodori)

2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
2 cups Italian plum or whole pack tomatoes, coarsely chopped but not drained
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 Tablespoon finely cut fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper

In 2- to 3- quart enameled or stainless steel saucepan, heat olive
oil 'till light haze forms over it. Add onions; cook over mod.
heat 7-8 minutes, or until soft, but not brown. Add the tomatoes,
paste, basil, sugar, salt and a little pepper. Reduce heat to low;
simmer partly covered, about 40 minutes. Stir every once in a
while. Press sauce through fine sieve or food mill into bowl or
pan. Taste for seasoning. Serve hot. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Notes: This is really good; but it's just a base. For spaghetti,
I add whatever veggies I have available (mushrooms, more onion,
tomato chunks, zucchini, carrots, garlic, even tofu chunks if I'm
not in the mood for meat) and maybe some kind of meat or another,
depending on what I've got. We particularly like sausage in it.

This is also the sauce I use when I make manicotti and canneloni.
I usually double or triple the recipe when I make it because it
doesn't make much. It freezes well.

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