Monday, October 5, 2009

Simple Tomato Sauce

I love red sauce on pasta. Marinara, tomato, arrabiata... love them all. I had made a few different recipes before, one of which is my classic go-to sauce recipe, but I still hadn't found *my* sauce recipe yet. When my mother asked me to cook all of the food for my father and uncles joint birthday party I was thrilled. I love a good excuse to cook up a storm. After we worked out the menu I knew the only glitch was finding a delicious pasta sauce recipe for the baked ziti. When I saw this one on the food network's website I knew I had to try it. At first I was skeptical about the carrot and the celery- but they created such a rich flavor. It lends itself to a hearty taste without adding calories and fat since the flavor is coming from vegetables rather than bacon grease and cheese. I love this recipe and it will quickly be my new go-to recipe.

Source: Giada Le Laurantiis

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
4 to 6 basil leaves
2 dried bay leaves
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a large casserole pot, heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 2 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, basil, and bay leaves and simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce still tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.

Add half the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.

If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

1 comment:

  1. Great idea on freezing the extra sauce!! Looks wonderful!