Let’s Get Sauced
Let’s just cut to the chase and make three things clear.
In case you didn’t know…
- I am Italian
- I love pastas (and Rastas… Mostly, I like eating pastas with Rastas… there’s just something about dreads….)
- Red wine runs through my veins
So, 1+2+3 = I love
getting making sauced sauce.
A good red sauce is the perfect complement to almost anything. After all, what do pasta, pizza, lasagna, gnocchi, Italian-style tofu, meatballs and sausage have in common? All of these favorites are best served with/under some red sauce.
Luckily for me, both of my parents are amazing cooks – And I have really great memories of mom and dad making their variations of red sauce. My mom would cook a giant pot of a more traditional red sauce on Sundays, along with some hot Italian sausage and pot roast. On summer nights, my dad would pick tomatoes from our overflowing garden and make more of a “fresh tomato” sauce to top some Linguine for a light, yet tasty, dinner.
Over the years, I’ve been working on a recipe that really combines the best of both sauces: I strived to achieve the rich flavor that a traditional red sauce holds, while maintaining a fresh, crisp finish. I believe this recipe really captures the essence of both sauces and makes for my favorite red! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
PS: A helpful hint – Use what you need and freeze the rest in sandwich-size Ziploc bags! I like to keep my freezer stocked with sauce so I can pull some out on weeknights to top a pizza or a plate of pasta! It’s also perfect to have some stashed away when unexpected company drops by!
1 yellow onion, diced into very small/fine pieces
1/2 lb cherry tomatoes, halved
4 cloves fresh, chopped garlic
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup (or so) of white wine (drinking quality)
Dried basil, oregano and red pepper flakes
A squeeze of tomato paste
1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
- Heat a dutch oven or sauce pan to medium heat and add in 2 tbsp of olive oil
- Let heat for a few seconds, add in the onion and cook for about 3-5 minutes, until soft and slightly translucent
- Add in a squeeze of tomato paste (I say squeeze because I buy the organic variety in a tube… You could just use a spoon-full if you have a can)
- Cook together, stirring, for a few minutes
- Add in the chopped garlic and the halved tomatoes and continue to sauté/stir, being careful not to let the garlic burn
- Once the tomatoes start to soften, add 1-1 1/2 cups of white wine and cover the pan. Sauté for about another few minutes, letting the tomatoes and veggies soften even more
- Take off the lid and add in a few pinches of salt and pepper – sauté for another minute or so
- Take a potato masher and “mash” the tomato and onion mixture until almost pureed (feel free to leave some chances for a more rustic taste/look)
- Reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the can of organic, crushed tomatoes and the dried spices (a generous shake of of all of them)
- Cover the pan and let it heat through for a few minutes and taste to adjust spices
- Cook on low heat/simmer for about 20 minutes and then enjoy!