According to the food calendar, we are in the midst of National Pasta Month. In my book pasta is always good from mac ‘n cheese, to ravioli to spaghetti with meat sauce, you can’t go wrong with pasta. This robust red sauce is one to keep on hand– I usually make a double batch keeping some in the freezer as an on-hand dinner option. Sauté pork or turkey Italian sausage or ground beef; stir meat into the sauce and serve over your fav pasta. Prefer sans meat—it is just as good tossed with vegetables. How easy is that?
Robust Tomato Sauce
1 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic (2 large cloves)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 (28-oz.) cans crushed tomatoes
2 (8-oz.) cans tomato sauce
11/4 cups cold water
3/4 cup red wine
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 to 4 tablespoons lemon honey*
Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil in a 3-qt. saucepan over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in Italian Seasoning Mix and paprika; cook 1 minute. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, water and red wine; bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, and simmer 40 to 45 minutes or until slightly thickened. Stir in salt and honey. YIELD: Approximately 10 cups sauce.
*Adjust to taste, if you like a more or less sweet tomato sauce.
Italian Seasoning Mix
1/2 cup dried basil leaves
2 tablespoons plus 2 tsp. dried oregano
2 to 4 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper*
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
Process basil, oregano, crushed red pepper, and black peppercorns in a food processor 1 minute or until mixture is a fine powder. Store in an airtight container at room temperature up to 4 months.
*Adjust to taste if you like more or less spicy.