Growing up I had a good friend who came from an authentic Italian family. Her Grandpa’s name was Joe, of course. When they made marinara they just called it “sauce”, as if sauce doesn’t need to have any other adjectives placed in front of it for people to know what kind of sauce it is.
Along with sauce, the Italian Mama made chicken cutlets that would sizzle in the skillet and make the entire house full of people gather in the kitchen trying to get their hands on the first batch. Those will be on an upcoming post! Now I am craving them!
Back to sauce…
When I began my personal cooking journey “sauce” was one of the top items on my things I want to be able to make with my eyes closed list. . I wanted my kids to grow up thinking I am much more Italian than the actual 12.5% I have lingering in my bloodline. Although, 12.5% is better than nothing, right?
- 1 stick of butter
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 5-7 cloves of fresh garlic minced
- 2 x 28oz cans of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning
- 1 tablespoon Red Pepper Flakes
- 1-2 tablespoons sea salt (adjust to taste)
- 1 tablespoon raw sugar
- 3 tablespoons fresh parsley finely chopped
- Melt 1 stick of butter in a cast iron skillet on med-low.
- Add diced onion and sauté for about 5min until translucent.
- Add garlic, red pepper and Italian Seasoning
- Pour in crushed tomatoes and add tomato paste
- Sprinkle in sugar.
- Add salt to taste.
- Right before serving stir in fresh parsley.
- Simmer for 1 hour.
The aroma of sauce fills my home for an entire afternoon, making everyone feel warm, cozy and excited about dinner. This is a childhood memory that will be engrained in my children’s minds. I want it that way! I want them to have memories that make them smile wide long after they leave home and I want them to have a list of favorite meals to request when they come over for dinner! Because they will come over often.
Melt butter in a skillet (cast iron if you have one. Making sauce really draws our the iron from the skillet and gives a nutritional boost to your meal)
Toss in the onion and sauté until almost translucent then add garlic, red pepper and Italian Seasoning
If you can help it, never cook (or clean) alone. Always have a little helper! It’s so much more fun.
Add in the 2 cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, stir to combine all ingredients.
Simmer on low heat for 1-3hrs. This is always a timing issue for me. If I have time at 3pm I start it then, if I don’t get time until 5pm the sauce is just as good at 6. I prefer the effect of all afternoon simmering sauce. It feels much more authentic and smells amazing!
Add chopped parsley, browned ground beef or meatballs along with your favorite pasta and enjoy!