This may come as a shock to you but there are nights when I just don’t feel like cooking. [Gasp!!!] I don’t feel like chopping or washing dishes. Boiling water seems like too much effort. But the kicker is that these same nights neither my fiancé nor I feel like making the effort to go out to dinner either. Quite the predicament isn’t it? What do I make every time the laziness hits? Pasta with meat sauce. Mmm pasta sauce.
I used to just crack open a bottle of my favorite brand of pasta sauce and dump it in a pot, but have you looked at those ingredients lately?! It’s horrifying. Is all that sugar and salt really necessary? And don’t get me started on “natural flavoring”. So several weeks ago I made it my mission to create my perfect homemade pasta sauce: a little sweet, bursting with flavor and super tomatoey!
I started with the recipe from The New York Times Cookbook (1961 Edition) that I picked up from The Strand Bookstore in NYC. If I lived in NYC, I would be broke and there would be no blog because all of my pocket money would be spent in this store. True story.
Want to know another true story? When I was younger (like last week) I used to eat pasta sauce straight from the pot. In High School my mom caught on to this penchant for pasta sauce and she would make a pot of pasta sauce with ground sirloin just for me! No noodles, just sauce. Isn’t she the greatest?!
Anyways, enough tangents Lindsey! I know you’re here for the sauce. This sauce is darn good. It even has my fiancé’s sticker of approval, which is harder to get than the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. It’s bursting with flavor and you can either can or freeze it to have on hand when those lazy days strike!
- 2 ½ cups chopped onion
- 6 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 ½ tablespoons olive oil
- 3 ½ cups canned Italian-style plum tomatoes, undrained
- 2 small cans tomato paste
- 2 ½ cups chicken broth (An amazing recipe here) or water, if you must
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
- ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried sage
- Gently saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is clear and begins to brown, stirring often.
- Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, bay leaf, salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered about two hours, stirring occasionally.
- Add the herbs and continue cooking about 15 more minutes. Remove the bay leaf. The sauce should be thick. Add browned meat of choice, pour over pasta, use in lasagna or chicken parmesan, or just eat it with a spoon!
Let me know what is your favorite thing to do with tomato pasta sauce. The options are endless!