Remember that sausage and pepper meal we talked about earlier this week? Well, I need to make it for Saturday and since I am also planning baked ziti, I decided that I am going to make sauce today. The sauce will be meatless because the sausages will be added later and the ziti will have cheese. Making the sauce on Thursday allows me to put it away and give it a couple of days to get better!
So the meatless sauce will include the flavors I talked about but the directions will of course skip the sausage and pepper. I will use:
- tomato puree
- tomato paste
- red wine
- red pepper flakes
- salt & pepper
- olive oil
I am making a vat of sauce so my proportions will be large. I started with 2 large yellow onions, diced. Several turns of the pot with olive oil and I put the diced onion in to saute. Cook these until they are translucent.
I add the basil, garlic, oregano, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper now. This allows the flavors to saute into the onions which will then spend time floating in the tomato. Note: If you find the onion and oil too dry, add some water or vegetable broth and allow it to cook away.
Once the onions are nicely sauteed, the pot will have yummy flavor on the bottom you do not want to miss. This is where the wine comes in. Add the wine. This is called deglazing the pot (or pan). I added my tomatoes and stir! stir! stir! Now I had to taste a little. I like it so far, but it has hours to simmer and I will continue to stir and taste every 20-30 minutes.
Using paste and puree offers a thick consistency. I am sure I will be adding some stock later on. This thins (and stretches!) the sauce a bit, while adding more flavor than water. You can add any stock really . . . beef would go nicely with the deep red wine, but vegetable stock will complement all of the onions and tomatoes so I will use that.
Well, my sauce is simmering. It will be ready to use on my baked ziti and the rest will be a beautiful base for sausage and peppers. Time to go stir and taste again. Have some fun making your own sauce today. Make a big pot because you will have planned leftovers for a few days on spaghetti, ziti, chicken parmigiana, or whatever you are cooking up. And this sauce freezes well, so put some away for later!
Off to the kitchen! As always ~ Enjoy!