I absolutely love to cook. Most of you probably don’t know that. Or, you might assume that because I am a crazy couponer, that I get a lot of junk food. Well, i do get junk food (I have a husband now, you know!) and if I didn’t, I think my family would kick me out! Good thing I don’t really like junk food. Well, cupcakes. I like cupcakes. Good thing there aren’t coupons for cupcakes. Then i would be in trouble. But, most of the meals we eat are all made from scratch. My daughter loves to spend time with me in he kitchen. She is my peeler, she is learning knife skills and she is my stirrer too.
As you know, there are tons of coupons for canned foods and I always end up buying tons of jars of tomatoes. Many years ago, I didnt know what to do with them and they literally sat in my stockpile until they expired or I donated them because I just didn’t know what to do with them. That was until a few years ago when my Aunt started shipping up her homemade tomato sauce and it was like crack in this house. It is literally that good. I had to have the recipe and now it is my base for so many things. I use it in lasagna, it is the start of my bolognese sauce and last night we used it as dipping sauce for my homemade raviolis. Did I mention I like to cook?!
So, heres how to make it:
Start off with about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and heat it until it is melted and moves around the pan easily. I like to make cool designs when I pour my oil in the pan. No, it doesn’t make it taste any different. It must be a blonde thing.
Next, saute up an onion. I use whatever I have on hand. I had grabbed a 5 lb bag of yellow onions at Stop & Shop for $1.99 so yellow it is! (Just don’t use red onion. It just doesn’t work)
After the onions are sauteed and translucent, add 2 gloves of garlic (minced) on top of the onions and saute for a about a minute or so more (be careful, because if your heat is too high, the garlic will burn and taste bitter)
Now, my favorite ingredient! Who would have thought, right?! Peppers! These were .99 cents each at Price Rite. Grab your favorite colors but a mixture of colored peppers makes the sauce look pretty and taste good. The red peppers are a bit sweet so that means you can control the sugar which is always a good thing. Those jars of sauce are totally packed with so much sugar it isn’t even funny!
Saute everything together until the peppers get soft and lose a bit of their color. Then, you are going to de-glaze the pan with a 1/2 cup of white wine (or chicken stock). Let this mixture simmer away until the wine (or stock) is reduced by about half)
Now it is time for those free cans of tomatoes! I use crushed tomatoes normally but all I had was diced so I threw them in my ninja blender and crushed them myself (Thank goodness hubby does the dishes!)
Spice time! Add 2 tablespoons of sugar (it is A LOT of sauce so it really is not that much sugar) 1 tablespooon salt, and 1 tablespoon pepper (the salt and pepper are simply guesstimates. I’m more of a pinch of this, pinch of that kind of person so I eyeballed it)
Simmer on the stove for about a half hour and Voila! You have a basic marinara sauce/tomato sauce! I put it in a mason jar and put it in the fridge (if you plan on using it right away) If you know how to can (i do not, but I want to learn. Some day!) then go right ahead, or you can put it in Ziploc bags (***wait until it is cooled down!) and put it in your freezer and simply defrost it when you need it!