Tomato and apple is not the first combination that comes to mind for pasta sauce. It works, with the apples smoothing out the acidity of the tomatoes and adding body to the tomato sauce. If you have already-prepared tomato sauce on hand, simply add the grated apple and cook as per the recipe. I tried this with apples peeled and unpeeled and liked the unpeeled version better. The apples peels need longer to cook to become softer. Your call. While you’re making the sauce, prepare your pasta of choice, using 3/4 – 1 pound for this sauce.

3 c canned tomatoes, (plum tomatoes if you can find them), undrained
4 T vegetable oil
1 c chopped onion
1 c shredded carrot
1 clove garlic, minced
2 t dried herb, such as oregano or basil
salt and pepper, to taste (check the salt content of the canned tomatoes before adding salt)
2 – 3 medium apples, or about a pound’s worth
1 c grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
2 T extra-virgin olive oil

1. Purée tomatoes in a blender or food processor, or not.

2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion, carrot, and garlic. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes. If you didn’t purée the tomatoes, break them up with your stirring utensil as they cook down. Add the dried herb, some salt, and pepper. Heat to a simmer.

3. Meanwhile, peel and core apples. Coarsely shred and add to the sauce as you do so. Return sauce to a simmer, and cook, uncovered, for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the apples shreds are tender

4. When the pasta is done, drain, reserving some of the pasta water. Gently add to sauce and toss for a minute or so. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese. Drizzle over the olive oil, toss again, and serve, extra grated cheese.