Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Basics: Italian Style Red Sauce

Credit for this goes to my friends, Joanne and Elizabeth.

Joanne's recipe contribution to our church's cookbook project got my friend Elizabeth started making her own red sauce. Her raves about how easy and delicious it was inspired me to try it.

I have changed mine around a bit, and to be honest it's never exactly the same as the previous batch!

This recipe is good for a large family. I make it in an 8-quart pot and usually end up with 5-6 quarts of sauce, if you halve the recipe it should fit in a 4-quart pot.

5 large cans of whole tomatoes (The recipe calls for the fancy Italian style tomatoes. I buy the cheapest ones).
One 8-oz. can tomato paste
These are really necessary for best flavor
Onions 2 large
Garlic to taste (I use either 4-5 cloves of fresh garlic, or 2 teaspoons powdered)

Optional veggies to add if desired:
Peppers 2-3 sweet bell peppers
Celery 2-3 stalks
Carrots 2-3 large
Fresh Spinach (you will not even realize it's in there, honest!)
Fresh Mushrooms if desired

or just get an Italian Seasoning blend

Olive Oil
Red wine (optional)

What I do is use my blender. I chop up some veggies to fill the blender about halfway, pour in a can of tomatoes and puree it. More veggies, more tomatoes, pour it all in the pot. Add about 2-3 tablespoons of herbal seasoning, 1/2 cup red wine if desired, a couple tablespoons olive oil. Simmer over low heat 2-3 hours.

This is another one you can freeze if you like. The great thing is, even if your kids don't generally care for vegetables, they might like spaghetti, lasagna, pizza or other recipes using this red sauce with "hidden" veggies.

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