Homemade Italian pasta sauce is one of the first things I learned how to make after I started dating Mr A. In fact, I’ve made my own pasta sauce since then (with a few alfredo exceptions), and anything out of a jar cannot compete.
You can use one of two methods when making a sauce and the one you choose depends on how much time you want to devote to the process.
1. Quick sauce: Just as it sounds – takes about 30minutes to make, but it could take longer depending on how you want the flavours to develop. I outlined the process for making this one in my Kitchen Staples Post.
2. Good Old Fashioned Pasta Sauce: to be good (and safe) this method takes at least an hours worth of cooking. Don’t worry – all this time cooking does wonderful, amazing things to the sauce and the time is not wasted.
Today I’m going to go over the method for making the good old fashioned kind because it’s my favourite, and when it’s done well, it’s fantastic!
Italian Pasta Sauce1 Medium Red Onion, diced 2 Garlic Cloves, minced 1 lb Ground Meat (we often use turkey) 1 28oz Can no salt added diced tomatoes 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes 2 Carrots, whole 2 Celery Stalks, whole 1 Cup Mushrooms, chopped Italian Seasoning Kosher Salt Freshly Cracked Black Pepper Basil Oregano Thyme Garlic Powder Onion Powder Canola oil
1. Heat oil over medium heat in a large pot – dutch oven will work perfectly. Add in diced onion and minced garlic cloves and allow to cook until onion becomes translucent.
2. Add the ground meat and break it up into small, even pieces. Add a thin layer of spices to the meat (see picture) – shake over the Italian Seasoning, Basil, Oregano, Thyme, garlic and onion powders and the black pepper. Also add a pinch of Kosher salt. Allow to cook until pink is gone (~10 minutes), while stirring ever once in a while to ensure even cooking.
3. Once the pink is gone add in the cans of tomatoes. Use about 1/3 of of a cup of water to rinse the crushed tomato can and add that to the pot too. Add another layer of herbs – Italian seasoning, basil, oregano, thyme. You may need to add a little more water if it looks too thick; don’t worry if you add too much it will boil out over time.
4. Also add to the pot the carrots, celery, and mushrooms and give it a stir. These guys will add aromatics to the sauce and you can eat them when the sauce is done, if you want, the mushrooms are just for a nice nutrient kick.
4. Turn up the heat to medium high and cover with a lid. The goal is to bring it to a boil and hold it for at least 30 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally – you don’t want it sticking to the bottom of the pot. The longer you cook it, the better it will taste. If you can let it go for 40-45 minutes I would do that.
5. After 30 minutes give it a taste. Does it need any more herbs/spices? If so, add them and let it cook for another 15 minutes or so. If it’s done, serve it on top of pasta.
Find more info about Canned Tomatoes here.