Thursday, November 3, 2011

Almost-From-Scratch Tomato Sauce

A good tomato sauce is key to many Italian dishes. This sauce is the perfect foundation as an ingredient in a meal or as a stand-alone over pasta. I save time by using canned tomato sauce, but the result tastes slow-cooked and bold.

2-3 celery stalks, chopped
½ white onion, diced
1-2 carrots, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T butter
¼ cup red wine or apple cider
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp basil
½ tsp red pepper flakes
Salt & pepper to taste
1 can (28-oz) tomato sauce

In a large saucepan, sauté celery, onion, carrots, and garlic in butter until softened, 3-5 minutes. 

Add wine or cider to deglaze the pan. Stir in Italian seasoning, basil, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Add tomato sauce. Bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer 30 minutes-1 hour with lid on to reduce splattering.

Turn off heat; use an immersion blender to blend sauce to desired consistency (or use a stand blender in batches). Serve over pasta or use as a foundation for your favorite Italian dish.

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