The Very Best Red Sauce
Upon creating my recipe for home-style meatballs, I noticed just how much more flavor the meatballs infused into the pasta sauce. With just a little prep work and some fresh ingredients, you can have your whole house smelling like Italy. This recipe does however incorporate store-bought pasta sauce, so don't worry, this doesn't involve prepping 100 fresh tomatoes. But it certainly does take it up a notch when it comes to red sauce.
It's a bit tough to make an ingredient list for this, because there are so many possible variations, and it also depends on whether you want veggie pasta or meat. Of course you can also add in a wine reduction sauce! I'll save that for a separate recipe. We'll just start with the basics for now. This is enough to feed about 4-6 people, or enough to pair with a 16oz. container of pasta.
- 24 oz. red pasta sauce (I like to use garlic and herb or marinara.)
- 6 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 1/2 cup minced onion (optional)
- 5 Roma tomatoes (chopped)
- 1 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp freshly-ground black pepper (or to taste)
- 1 tbs dried Italian herbs (Use whatever you have - it could be mixed Italian herbs, basil, or oregano.)
- a few tbs olive oil
- As you can see in the pic below, I also added in some fresh greens. This recipe is the perfect opportunity to sneak some extra veggies into your meal.
- Start by prepping your ingredients, chopping the tomatoes, mincing the garlic, yadda, yadda.
- Coat a large skillet with olive oil. For this and a lot of other dishes, I love to use my large saute pan with lid. Heat on medium high and give the oil a good swirl.
- Add the minced garlic and onion to the skillet and saute until the garlic is golden brown.
- Add the tomatoes, and if you want to make it veggie pasta, add in a few cups of fresh greens or spinach. Stir and let the tomatoes cook down a bit. Go ahead and add in the spices and herbs while you're waiting on that. If you want to add veggies like chopped asparagus, you need to steam those separately and add them in at the end so they don't get too mushy.
- Now add the pasta sauce and stir. If you're making meat sauce or want to add chicken or meatballs to your pasta, this is the perfect time to add it in. *Note: Whichever kind of meat you want to add, prep and brown it in a separate pan first. This would be heavenly with some browned Italian sausage!
- Once you've added in the sauce and given it a good stir, cover the pan and reduce the heat to low-medium.
- Let the sauce (and meat if you've added any) simmer for 30 minutes before serving. Enjoy!
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