Recipe Redux: My Basic Tomato Sauce + A Variation

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This is my first recipe redux. I’m going to be posting recipes that I make regularly and have perfected over time. Since my original posting, I have experimented with different methods and ingredients over the years – onions, basil, red pepper flakes. But, I have settled on this as my go to basic recipe because it is easy and flavorful and it meets my family’s requirements – not chunky, not spicy and no wilted basil.

Now, I am not sure if this technically Pomodoro or Marinara but since I am not Italian, I am just calling it Basic Tomato Sauce!

This recipe makes about 4 cups of sauce. I like to ladle the sauce into single serving containers – that is about 1 cup for my family – but store it in a size that works for you. It can go into the refrigerator if you are going to use it right away or into the freezer. When I use the whole recipe for a big lasagna, I store the whole thing in one big container.

Basic Tomato Sauce
1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
2 good size cloves of garlic
1 tube of tomato paste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water

Pour olive oil into a 3 quart pot. Use a garlic press to press the garlic into the oil. Turn the heat on low and mix to coat the garlic with the oil. Cook until fragrant, a few minutes. Be sure to watch it because garlic burns quickly.

Squeeze the whole tube of tomato paste into the pot and use a wooden spoon to mix it into the oil and garlic. Cook it down for a minute, mixing it as you go.

Add the tomatoes to the pot. Add a little water to the can and swirl it around so that you get the rest of whatever is left in the can. Pour it into the pot. Add the salt and mix well.

Cover the pot and bring up to a nice simmer. Cook for 45 minutes on medium low heat.

Vegetable Variation
1 small onion or 1 leek, white and the tender green part
1 zucchini
1 carrot
1 red pepper
2 good size cloves of garlic
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tube of tomato paste
1 tablespoon good olive oil, optional
1/2 teaspoon salt

Slice the leek in half and then into semi circles. Clean well. Cut the zucchini, carrot and pepper into a small, even dice. Add to a big pot and cook on low heat, sweating the vegetables until they are bright and starting to soften. Press the garlic over the vegetables and mix well, cooking the garlic until fragrant, a few minutes.

Squeeze the whole tube of tomato paste into the pot and and mix with the vegetables. Cook it down for a minute, mixing as you go.

Add the tomatoes to the pot. Add a little water to the can and swirl it around so that you get the rest of whatever is left in the can. Pour it into the pot. Add the salt and mix well.

Cover the pot and bring up to a nice simmer. Cook for 45 minutes on medium low heat.

Enjoy!

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