Kendo 2's Multipurpose Marinara Sauce
This is an old recipe taught to me when I was a kid by the grandmother of our Italian neighbours. They ate this sauce on spaghetti with hardboiled eggs and crusty bread. This sauce can be used for anything; lasagne, spaghetti, linguini and clams, mussels with capers, as a pizza sauce or as a base for Bolognese. This recipe will make one 'batch', which is enough for a family-sized lasagne. For the best flavour make the sauce a day before you use it.
1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
1 Tblspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
1/2 Tblspoon black pepper
1 Tblspoon sugar
28 oz canned tomatoes (do not drain)
6 oz tomato paste
6 oz tomato sauce
1/3 cup red wine
1 1/2 cup beef or vegetable stock*
1/4 teaspoon red pepper (optional)
1 anchovy filet (optional)
1/4 teaspoon tarragon (optional)
In a stock pot, heat enough olive oil to sauté the onion, celery and carrot. DO NOT add the garlic yet. Sauté the veggies until the onions are translucent.
Once the onions are translucent remove the pot from the heat and stir in the oregano, thyme and black pepper. Add the tomato paste and fold the mixture until everything is blended well.
Return the pot to the heat and set the temp to low. Add the canned tomatoes, the tomato sauce, red wine and stock.
Add the sugar and garlic, and add the red pepper/anchovy/tarragon if your are using them. Stir until well blended.
Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes. Do not let the sauce boil. Cover and simmer for an additional hour. The resulting sauce should be somewhat thick.
Once cooled the sauce can be jarred and refrigerated or put in freezer bags and frozen for later use. I wouldn't suggest hot packed canning though.
* I use Better Than Bouillon for everything. It is the closest alternative to making your own from scratch.