Caramelized Onion Tomato Sauce

My friend Sarah participated in a CSA this year that gives her locally grown produce every week. She gave me a bag of tomatoes she couldn’t get through that were absolutely delicious. It’s rare to get a really good tomato anymore so when I do, I will usually just sprinkle salt on it and eat it like an apple! But since I had this big bag of beautiful tomatoes and not much in the fridge, I decided to make a quick sauce for lunch this weekend. It’s fresh from the garden- a little bit sweet and creamy balanced by a dash of spice!

I will apologize in advance for the photo quality as my iPhone camera has taken a turn for the worse. Hopefully this will be remedied soon!


  • Whole Wheat Penne
  • Fresh tomatoes
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 2-3 cloves, garlic
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • Fresh basil
  • 1 carrot
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3 tbsp (or so) vodka (could substitute with white wine or red if you take out the balsamic)
  • dash of cream or half and half
  • red pepper flakes (to taste)


  • Slice your onions very thin and put them in a pan with oil. Cook on medium to high for 30 or so minutes. The longer they cook, the sweeter they will get!

  • Put a pot of boiling water on for the pasta. When it comes to a boil add the penne and cook until al dente. It should take about the same amount of time to finish the sauce.
  • Add your diced tomatoes to the pot. Season with salt and pepper.
  • Grate one carrot into the pan. It will take away the bitterness of the tomatoes and add hearty flavor. (I often throw a whole carrot in my pot of sauce while its cooking and remove it before serving.) Then add the chopped garlic.

  • Pour in vodka and raise the heat, let it come to a boil and then lower to simmer and reduce. Add balsamic vinegar and red pepper flakes. Let cook for a few minutes.

  • Add a spoonful or two of water from the pasta if you need some more liquid in the pan. Put the sauce on low.
  • Pour in a touch of cream and stir.
  • Add in the pasta to the pot of sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese and fresh chopped basil.
  • Eat and enjoy!

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