Sunday, July 24, 2011
EVERYDAY TOMATO SAUCE
This sauce is almost as easy as opening a store-bought jar, but the taste and health benefits are way better! My everyday tomato sauce can top your spaghetti, layer in your lasagna, cover your pizza, or be the perfect dip for garlic bread and mozzarella sticks. This recipe is one EVERYBODY should know, and the best part- it's easy enough for everybody to learn!
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small yellow onion, small diced (about 1/4-1/3 cup)
28 oz. can unseasoned, crushed or pureed tomatoes
2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbs. parmesan cheese (optional)
1 tbs. chopped fresh basil leaves
extra virgin olive oil
meat (optional- see below)
-in a medium sized sauce pan, warm 1 tbs. olive oil over medium-low/low heat
-add garlic and onion and cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally
-add in crushed tomatoes, sugar, salt and pepper, cheese, and basil
-stir and let cook on low until warmed through
-serve and enjoy!
This sauce was the start of my cooking passion. I would watch my Italian grandmother make sauce and learned at a young age to make my own. Though my sauce is good- it never tastes quite as good as hers did (like all grandma recipes!)
TIPS and ADAPTATIONS:
-To make a meat sauce, add your choice of the following into the sauce once all ingredients are combined: cooked ground beef, ground pork, crumbled sweet or hot Italian sausage, meatloaf mix, pulled pork, ground turkey, or ground veal (or use a combination of any of these! My favorite is a mixture of beef, pork, and veal- or a meatloaf mix) You can also add in some cooked, store bought or homemade meatballs into the sauce too!
-When cooking the garlic and onions, render/cook down some chopped pieces of bacon or pancetta with it.
-Add in your own favorite blend of herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano, parsley, and/or sage along with the basil.
-You can use dried herbs too (just remember: use about 1/3 of the amount of dried herbs as you would fresh- they are more concentrated with flavor!).
-Make it a blush sauce and add a splash of heavy cream or a large pad of cream cheese or goat cheese.
-Make it an arrabiata sauce (spicy!) by adding in some crushed red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper
-Leave out the garlic or onion if you don't like them. Try adding in some garlic or onion powder for a less intense flavor.
-Try adding a few cloves of roasted garlic for a more mellow, sweet garlic flavor.
-Make a BIG batch of sauce, and freeze single/family sized portions. Thaw for a quick dinner anytime!