I LOVE a good red sauce. Tomatoes. Garlic. Oregano. Associations with delicious, wonderful pasta. Mmmmm
I learned how to make red sauce using my Grandmother’s canned tomatoes. It was very simple. Tomatoes + tomato soup + onions + garlic + spices + ground beef. Yum.
As I got older, my tastes changed, and I started developing my own sauce.
I would love to be able to use my Grandmother’s tomatoes every time, but they are in short supply, so I decided to FINALLY learn how to make a sauce completely from scratch.
As I tend to say, if I can do it, so can you!
I often skip measurements when I am cooking (leave that to the baking), it usually means I never make exactly the same thing twice, but I like to have the freedom to taste and re-season as my taste-buds of the day deem necessary.
My apologies for not having specific quantities!
Step 1. Gather ingredients. My basic list includes tomatoes, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, red pepper, olive oil, tomato paste, salt, pepper, oregano, basil, and bay leaves. I also often add broccoli to my sauces because I can’t taste it, and the more green veggies I can sneak into my food, the better I feel. Zucchini and mushrooms are also delicious additions. White wine also adds a nice flavour.
2. On low heat sauté onions, carrots, and celery in olive oil. When they are almost cooked add garlic. Add tomatoes (many people say to peel and seed them, I don’t because I like peel and seeds. You might not), red peppers, and seasoning. Cover and simmer at least 20 minutes.
3. You can blend the sauce to make it more uniform if you like, but I like to keep the chunks. I do add tomato paste to thicken it a little though. I also tend to taste and re-season if needed at this point.
4. At this point you have a basic red sauce. You can serve it like this over pasta if you like (although I think it is much better if it simmers for much longer, like the entire afternoon, or even better, if it sits in the fridge overnight).
You can also jazz it up a bit. I love to add ground beef or pork, spicy Italian sausage, red pepper flakes, ground round. There are pretty much unlimited possibilities!