Since AB asked, here's my procedure for making tomato sauce. I hesitate to call it a recipe, since it's kind of fluid and as-you-like-it, and I'm also including the caveat here that I fiddled with this off and on for a few years before finding a procedure we really liked. Herbs, veggies, different kinds of tomatoes, etc., can all be added or subtracted at will. That's the beauty of carefree cooking.

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat, then sauté diced onions and green peppers (or just onions). After a minute or two, add 2 or 3 cloves chopped garlic, then continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes, until veggies soften somewhat. Add 1/2 to 3/4 cup of white or red wine and a pinch of salt, and let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until it reduces and the veggies have absorbed the wine flavor. Pour in a 28-ounce can of crushed tomatoes and a 14-ounce can of diced tomatoes, basil, oregano, thyme, and a teaspoon of sugar. I usually add a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes at this point as well — not enough to make it hot, just to add a hint of spiciness. Stir, taste, and add salt and pepper at will. Toss in two bay leaves. Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and let simmer for as long you want (it's good as is, but I usually simmer it for 30 minutes or more, stirring every 10 minutes to make sure it doesn't stick). Take out bay leaves before consuming.

Other great additions: carrots, mushrooms, rosemary, herbes de Provence, Parm or Romano cheese, pesto, a splash of cream at the end, ground beef or sausage, etc. You get the idea.

I'm always interested in other flavor combos, so leave a comment with your own procedure if you feel like sharing.




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