One of the mainstays of our family’s diet is pasta. It is usually served with this tomato sauce, which is worth making in quantity because it can be used in a variety of other dishes, saving time, effort and money.
As anyone in the family knows, Adrian is a very “selective” eater and this sauce makes the grade for him…hence the name 🙂
The version below is the “basic” recipe…feel free to add grated carrots, zucchini, or mixing and matching veggies as is your taste. The only real constants are the garlic and onion.
The versatility of the sauce is great – I will post recipes “starring” it, to follow.
In the meantime, bon appétit!
2-3 tbsp. olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, chopped
1 large white sweet onion (like Walla Walla – I am really into cooking with them right now)
2 cups mushrooms
1 red or green pepper, chopped
1-28 oz can stewed tomatoes
1-14 oz can tomato sauce
1-2 tsp. EACH dried basil, oregano, thyme (can use fresh but increase amounts accordingly)
1-2 tsp. fennel seeds (this is optional but very tasty)
1 tsp red chili pepper flakes (or good dash Tabasco sauce)
2-3 bay leaves (do not crumble, leave whole and remove when sauce has finished cooking)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup or so red wine (if you have any open)
Saute two of the garlic cloves and the onion in the olive oil until beginning to soften. Add the vegetables and cook for a few minutes longer until everything is nice and soft. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, herbs and seasonings, and wine if using.
Cover with a splatter screen and simmer over low heat for an hour until liquid is slightly reduced. When sauce has finished cooking, stir in the remaining raw garlic (or taka-taka, as it is known in our house) – this gives a really fresh garlicky hit to the flavour.
Serve over pasta, with freshly grated cheese if desired (parmesan for the purists, but also delish with cheddar – a Gramma Jean touch!) 🙂