Maghreb Style Tomato Olive Caper Sauce

1/3 cup olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (12 oz.) can tomato paste (reserve empty can)
20 pitted green olives, cut in half
2 tablespoons capers
1 bay leaf
Salt & pepper to taste
2 tsp. sugar
2 cans warm water (use tomato paste can)
1 lb. spaghetti
Parmesan cheese

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente. Strain when ready.

2. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil on medium heat. Add the diced onion and cook until the onion is soft and just golden about 8-10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté for another minute.

3. Next, add the tomato paste in the center of the pan. Mix it with the oil, garlic and onions. Spread the tomato paste mixture out on the pan. Sauté undisturbed for 3 minutes. Leaving the tomato paste to sauté undisturbed helps caramelize it which increases the flavors of the sauce. Stir and sauté for another 3 minutes undisturbed. Add the salt, pepper, sugar, and bay leaf and stir well scraping the bottom.

4. Add 2 cans of warm water and mix well again. Bring to a boil on medium heat, stir and quickly lower the heat to simmer. Simmer the sauce for 10-12 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and taste the sauce for seasoning before serving it on the pasta. Add the olives and capers and seasoning if needed.

5. Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and mix with ½- 1 cup of sauce. Serve the pasta in individual serving plates, and add a little more sauce on top with freshly grated cheese.

This is a quick and delicious sauce that can be made with ingredients right from the pantry, anytime!!!!!!!

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