Anytime Pasta Sauce

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion (chopped)
1 celery stalk (chopped fine)
1 small bell pepper (chopped fine) optional
3-6 garlic cloves (minced)
¼ tsp fennel seed (optional)
1 tsp dried basil
½ tsp oregano
¼ tsp red pepper flakes (or to taste)
1-28 oz can of whole Italian tomatoes with juice (or fresh peeled)
1-8 oz can of tomato sauce
½ cup dry red wine
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp Stevia
1 tbsp lemon juice
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
Fresh basil for garnish

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high. Add onion, celery, bell pepper, and garlic (in that order) with a dash of sea salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent.
2. Add spices. With your hands, (the Italian way) squeeze the tomatoes to break them up and add them along with all the juice to the pot. Add tomato sauce, wine, vinegar, and Stevia. Simmer on low partially covered for at least 30 minutes. The longer the better. I will simmer this sauce if I have time for a couple of hours, adding a little water and stirring occasionally as needed.
3. At the end of cooking add lemon juice, salt, and pepper to taste. Bring to simmer for another 10 minutes.
Serve with whole grain or gluten-free pasta – Fabulous on top of roasted vegetables like zucchini, eggplant, or on top of spaghetti squash. For a meaty, meatless version – try adding lentils or cauliflower (brown chopped cauliflower with onion mixture). A great sauce for experimentation!