Big Pot of Sauce
This makes 19 cups so be sure to use an extra large pot. I use my Stir-Fry Skillet from The Pampered Chef and it fits perfectly. Or use a large crock pot/slow cooker instead. Just sauté the veggies on the stove top first then add everything to the cooker and cook on low all day.
The quantities of herbs and garlic might seem large, but this is meant for freezing and the flavors diminish when frozen. It’s not too strong to use some right away though. You might even want to add more seasoning when you use it out of the freezer.
I make this when my supply gets low - its nice to have a bag or two on hand for a truly "no brainer" dinner. It costs around $7 to make and you get at least 4 dinner starters for your effort!
1 T olive oil
I medium to large onion, chopped
1 whole head garlic (about 10 cloves) chopped as large or small as you like
2 T Italian seasoning
2 T brown sugar
A couple turns each on the pepper grinder and salt grinder
1 can tomato paste (12 oz)
2 large cans tomato sauce (29 oz each)
2 large cans crushed tomatoes (29 oz each)
Heat oil in large pan; sauté the onion and garlic on medium heat till soft. Add Italian seasoning, brown sugar, and salt and pepper, mixing well. Add the tomato paste, sauce and crushed tomatoes. Stir well and let simmer on low heat with the lid on for several hours, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and let cool enough to be transferred to plastic zipper bags or containers. Generally about 4 cups to a container will work for future recipes.
Thaw in refrigerator or defrost in a microwave safe container then reheat on stove until the sauce reaches at least 165* using an instant read thermometer.
Use in your favorite pasta recipe adding more vegetables and cooked meat to it if desired.
My favorite is to add pan-fried fresh mushrooms and zucchini and shredded carrot. A meat-lover’s choice might be grilled Italian sausage, sliced before adding.
Quick Pasta Fagioli (a great meatless meal)
Makes two servings
1 tsp olive oil
Garlic clove, pressed
1 (14 oz) can cannellini beans (white kidney) drained and rinsed well
1 cup marinara sauce
6 oz fresh spinach leaves
2 cups cooked hot penne pasta (whole grain or white)
In a skillet heat the oil and sauté the garlic till soft. Add beans and marinara sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer one minute. Remove from heat, add fresh spinach, let it cook down slightly then pour over the top of the pasta, top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.