Mmmmmmm. My kitchen smells delicious. I’m enjoying just smelling the sweet tomato goodness, as I have sipped and slurped too many tastes of my pasta sauce.
I’m sharing two recipes today. I’m hoping that when you see how quick, easy, yummy it is to make your own sauce…. you will just say no to the jar stuff. Cheeky, right?
The first sauce is meatless. And delicious. The secret ingredient…. butter. That’s right, everyone who just knew it would be sugar, it is actually ButTeR!
I was in a hurry one day, when my boys were little, and plopped butter down on the plate full of spaghetti that was the “no sauce, please” plate. In my hurry, I turned around and ladled sauce right on top of that pat of butter anyway. I set it aside, to have for myself and made a new “no sauce, please” plate.
What a yummy mistake! The butter added a wonderful sort of silkiness. I kept that in the back of mind and a few sauces later, I made the sauce with just three ingredients. I was afraid to add meat to it, in case it didn’t taste as good as I was hoping.
Bossy Kitchen Tip: Always, always, always keep some type of canned tomatoes on your pantry. Whole, chopped, diced. Your choice. No extra ingredients. Just tomatoes.
Regular Kitchen Tip: Use real butter. Salted or unsalted depending on the recipe. Buy French or Amish or store brand or churn your own. Butter, used wisely, tastes better and is chemical free, that’s all.
Onion Kitchen Tip: Cutting an onion in half, using it and then discarding it is one that I frequently use to flavor a sauce or soup with onion, without it being in the dish at serving time.
Ok. Gather up the following for a yummy meatless sauce:
Big can of tomatoes (32 oz serves 4)
Unsalted butter (6-7 tbsp)
Yep. That’s all you need. You can double this so easily. Just allow a bit more simmering time.
Cut your onion in half (you will discard before serving). I like sweet onions, white or Vidalia. You can, of course, use a yellow onion, if you like. Add all to a stockpot.
Get the sauce going on medium heat until it starts to simmer. Mush the tomatoes a bit, if they are whole, during the simmering stage.
Turn the heat down and let it simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. Discard the onion and it is ready for serving over pasta. Enjoy! I accept hugs as payment for this recipe!
Now for Recipe #2. Meat sauce!
This sauce is a gorgeous one that you can make, double, freeze, add to…. one of my favorites! I typically make it in the morning, then transfer it to a crockpot for a slow all-day simmer.
Gather up the following:
Spices that you like in red sauce
Petite diced tomatoes (large can)
Tomato sauce as a backup plan
Here we go! Brown a pound or two of ground beef with the onion and garlic and a dash of salt per pound. Two pounds of meat goes a long way, depending on the crowd you’re feeding, or if you are freezing some. Drain. Drain the diced tomatoes, reserving the liquid. Add diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Add pepper. Stop here and let the sauce get hot thru. Let it marry a bit then taste it.
This is where you get to be the chef and choose some options. If you like oregano, or basil, or more garlic… add them in to taste. Let it simmer a bit and taste again. Add salt if needed, I rarely do at this point. The other choice is whether or not the sauce is too thick or too thin. I like to stretch the budget and add more tomatoes, the reserved liquid, or plain tomato sauce here. I love to have extra to freeze for a quick winter meal.
Simmer in the pot ’til dinner, or transfer to a crockpot to simmer all day.
Both of these recipes are terrific on the pasta noodle of your choice. Enjoy!