Basic Tomato Sauce
This sauce can be made while the pasta is cooking or in the slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours…so pick your choice.
First of all is the basic tomato sauce. Keep in the refrigerator or week or so and in freezer or up to 3 months. In our house this goes too fast to sit about in the refrigerator for a week even with only the two of us.
Depending on what I plan for use of this sauce, I sometimes add a can of just plain tomato sauce or pureed tomato amount depending on the amount of sauce I want to end up with. What do I mean? When I make lasagna, I never precook the lasagna noodles. They always end up being a mess.
So a long time ago, I started to just use dry noodles and add enough sauce to come up to about half way up the sides of the pan and covered the lasagna pan tightly with foil and set on a cookie sheet (of course covered with another piece of foil, so I didn’t have to scrub any boiled over sauce off my oven) before popping the pan into the oven.
Anyway, to make the lasagna this method needs extra liquid, so instead of water, I add tomato sauce. Same thing when I want to make meat sauce, this recipe with a pound of ground meat is too thick so I add an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce.
Enough of that, let’s get to making the sauce. Here goes.
Basic Tomato Sauce:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 cups medium (¼”) dice of onion
large clove of garlic, finely chopped
2 cups finely grated carrot
1 cup finely chopped celery
1 Tablespoon dry Italian seasonings
1 bay leaf
1 28oz can of crushed tomato
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (to taste, optional)
Heat saucepan or deep 10” skillet on high, spray with cook spray, add olive oil, onion and ½ teaspoon of salt and cook two mins stirring add garlic, carrot, celery and bay leaf, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes if used and stir well and let cook for about 5 mins or so. Add the crushed tomato, stir well, bring to a boil, lower heat to low, cover and let cook for about 10 mins.