This time of year is when my culinary skills are most appreciated since I think my best meals tend to be traditional Italian-American plates, which are a bit heavy to eat in the warmer months. I spend many of my Sunday afternoons in the winter months happily cooking my favorite meals and for many of them a key ingredient is a good homemade red sauce.
I first shared this post last winter but I thought I’d re-post it for anyone who may have missed it and is looking for a good recipe.
The estimated cost for making my red sauce is ~$10 and it will make 6-8 servings. Total time prepping and making the sauce varies because you can let it simmer for hours, but when in a pinch this can be done in 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Ingredients: 2 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes (I prefer the whole peeled or cubed variety), 1 Vidalia onion, 1 head of garlic (roasted), 1 bell pepper (roasted), 1 carrot, 1 Italian pork sausage (I prefer spicy but sweet is fine too), 1/2 cup of red wine, 1/2 cup of chicken stock, a handful of parsley, olive oil, red pepper flakes (optional), Italian seasoning, salt and pepper to taste.
Instructions: Puree the onion and carrot so they will cook more quickly then add them to a hot pan with olive oil. The carrot acts as a natural sweetener and will cut the acidity of the tomatoes when they are added. This is a healthier option than sugar commonly found in jarred sauces.
I then combine the whole peeled tomatoes, roasted garlic and peppers and puree the ingredients and add it to the sauce pan and stir (repeatedly). Next, I remove the casing of the sausage and remove any large pieces of fat. I add this along with the parsley and half a cup of red wine into my blender to puree it until it looks like a paste (it looks gross but adds flavor). Add the contents to the sauce pan and stir (repeatedly).
Lastly, I cover the sauce pan and lower the heat so the sauce will lightly simmer. Let it cook for a minimum of 30 minutes (stir every 5-10 minutes). If the sauce becomes too thick add chicken stock / or water. Before plating I like to drizzle extra virgin olive oil.