This red sauce takes about 20 minutes to prepare, and an hour and twenty minutes to cook. It will make a large batch – enough for two lasagnas, or the topping to a pound of your favorite pasta.
The first step is important. Introducing the garlic and onion to the oil first will allow it to be infused with these intense flavors, providing an essential component to this sauce. The secret to this sauce is to chop the carrots, onion, and celery in a food processor (separately) until they are finely chopped, but not minced. This allows the vegetables to melt into the sauce as you cook it down, while the mushrooms and olives provide the chunky texture. I love that this sauce requires no sugar – common in jarred sauce. The carrots provide natural sweetness.
I make this sauce on New Year’s Day and decide what to do with it that day. It is incredibly versatile, and makes a great sauce for lasagna, baked ziti, or any favorite pasta dish that requires a red sauce. I serve it with garlic bread and a big salad.
Here’s what you need:
- 2 jars of 29 oz crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1.5 tablespoons dried basil
- 3 large carrots, finely chopped
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
- one small can of sliced black olives
- 1 package of sliced white mushrooms
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
Here’s what you do:
- In a large sauce pot, heat oil over low/medium heat. Add garlic and onion, and saute for ten minutes.
- Add the carrots, celery, olives, and mushrooms, and saute for ten more minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper, and basil, and simmer for one hour, uncovered.