Sometimes you don't want to cook up a storm and you just want a plate of carbs with a tasty tomato sauce and perhaps some meat. I used to buy my pasta sauce in a jar because I thought it was easier but recently I started to make my own. Don't know what took me so long because a) it's easy and b) it tastes much nicer.
I switch the recipe around each time I make it to suit my mood or the ingredients on hand but here's my version of a simple tomato sauce for pasta:
- Olive oil
- 1 medium brown onion, diced
- 2 sticks of celery, finely diced
- 1 medium carrot, finely diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, finely diced.
- 1 400g tin of chopped or crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cups (375mL) of beef stock or water
- Red wine, amount variable (optional)
- 1-2 teaspoons of sugar
- Salt and pepper plus any other herbs you'd like to add - basil, thyme, rosemary, oregano are all good inclusions
- In a large saucepan or frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery. Cook for ten minutes over a low-medium heat until the onion softens and carrots and celery begin to break down.
- Add the garlic and cook for a further 1-2 minutes.
- Turn the heat up to high and add the tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, stock/water and red wine if using.
- Bring to the boil and turn down to a simmer.
- Season, add the the sugar and any herbs you are using.
- Simmer for 10-15 minutes or until it thickens.
You can add some minced meat to the pan in between steps 2 and 3 or alternatively, use the pan to cook some meatballs before you begin for your protein hit. I like to add mushrooms once it's simmering and if I have one a grated beetroot (which also gives it amazing colour).
I'd love to know your versions and what you add to it to make it amazing!