- 1 small sweet onion, small dice
- 1 stalk celery, small dice
- 1 large carrot, small dice
- 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
- dried basil, parsley
- Salt and black pepper
- white or brown sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
This is a poor man’s meat sauce: the vegetables are cut smallish to simulate the texture of ground beef. The inspiration for my version comes from a cookbook I’ve had since 1986. I wasn’t happy with a number of my sugo sauces until I started using stewed tomatoes instead of 100% plain crushed tomatoes. Then finally, Chinese-Italian success!
Saute the vegetables in olive oil until soft and fragrant.
Add dried basil and parsley (if using dried) now.
Add the stewed tomatoes and simmer over low heat uncovered until the tomato chunks start to break up. Smash the rest of the tomato chunks with a wooden spoon. You want somewhat chunky but not super chunky.
Add the can of crushed tomatoes, mix well, and simmer over low heat for at least one hour.
Add salt, pepper, a little sugar, butter and parsley (if using fresh). Adjust seasonings until you get that perfect balance between salt and sweet.
You’re ready for pasta.
This sauce freezes well. Half of the sauce was enough for Baked Rigatoni with Ricotta and Parmesan (no recipe for this, yet).
This pasta sauce will be invaluable when your kid turns into a teenager, comes home and announces she has stopped eating meat to save the planet.
Trust me on this.