Veggies and Sauce
For a long time, I refused to eat tomato sauce. I ate my pasta plain and when I got pizza, I would carefully separate the cheese from the crust, scrape off all the sauce, and then reassemble each slice. Even now, I’m still picky about tomato sauce. My pasta sauce needs to be full of veggies. Full of them! The veggie to sauce ratio must be high!
Unfortunately, a lot of store-bought pasta sauces skimp on the veggies. Mushroom sauces are my favorite because I like the meatiness that the mushrooms add to a pasta dish, but usually store-bought sauces either have a few token slices in each jar or tiny little diced mushrooms that you can’t even taste. Sad! So I decided to make my own mushroom marinara. Yes, it takes more time than opening up a jar, but this recipe makes a lot of sauce, so you can whip up a batch on the weekend, then freeze it in small portions to use throughout the week. Not only is this tastier than buying pasta sauce, it’s much cheaper too. Trust me, it’s worth it.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 lb cremini or white mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 2 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes with basil
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- a pinch or two of red pepper flakes optional
- 1-2 tsp granulated sugar optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat.
- Add the garlic. Cook about 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
- Add the mushrooms; cook until their juices are released and then cooked off, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in the wine and raise the heat to high. Cook for about 5 minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, basil, oregano, and pepper flakes (if using). Reduce heat to low, and simmer for an hour, or until the sauce has thickened.
- If needed, add a teaspoon or two of sugar to cut the acidity, and season with salt and pepper to taste.