Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Basic Red Sauce

Here's a recipe for a basic red sauce, or marinara. I use canned tomatoes here, because good, fresh ones aren't always available.

2 cloves garlic, crushed or diced
1/2 yellow or white onion, diced
1/2 bell pepper, diced
1 carrot, diced
1/4 cup olive (or cooking) oil - It will still be really good, even if you don't have olive oil.
2 tsp dried basil
1+ Tbs oregano
black pepper to taste
1 14-15oz can diced tomatoes (plain)
1 14-15oz can tomato sauce (plain)

Make it:
Saute onion, bell pepper, carrot, in oil, low-medium heat, for 10 minutes.
Turn heat low and add crushed garlic. Saute for 3 minutes.
Add canned tomatoes, oregano, basil, black pepper.
Stir, cover and let simmer for at least a half hour. An hour or two is even better.

Things I add when I have them are: a splash of red wine, and a shake or two of crushed red pepper for a little extra heat.

You can easily sauce one pound of pasta with this. I toss the cooked pasta with some of the sauce, and then add extra on top to serve. Add a little parmesan, and it's a great bowl of pasta.

For a Meat Sauce
If you want a meat sauce, add ground beef to saute pan and brown before adding garlic. Ground pork, turkey, work fine, too. I stay away from soy-based meat substitutes for this, because the earthy soy flavor seems to step on everything. I generally reserve meat substitutes for burgers. If you want extra texture in your sauce without meat, I'd add olives, artichoke hearts, eggplant, or more bell pepper.

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