gettin' saucy

As you know, this past weekend was Hubby's birthday.  As part of the many birthday celebrations, we invited our family over last night for dinner.  As lasagna was Hubby's favourite dish growing up, I, naturally, decided to serve lasagna.

left overs always make the best lunches!

The lasagna recipe I decided to make called for home-made tomato sauce which was to be mixed with a bechamel sauce to make a rose.  I know that I could have bought jarred tomato sauce, but why?  So, on Saturday I made a batch of home-made tomato sauce.  It was DELICIOUS!!  In fact, it was so delicious that I kind of regret mixing it with the bechamel as it really muted the fantastic flavours.  Oh well, next time!  This is such a great base recipe that would be great with other veggies (like mushrooms) or meat added to it to make it a more substantial sauce to pour over cooked pasta for an easy weeknight meal.  I'm never buying jarred tomato sauce again!

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (32-ounce) cans crushed tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 can plain tomato sauce, optional*
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, optional

In a Dutch oven (ha-ha!), heat oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add celery and carrots and season with salt and pepper. Saute until all the vegetables are soft, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaves and simmer uncovered on low heat for 1 hour or until thick. Remove bay leaves and check for seasoning. If sauce tastes acidic, add unsalted butter, 1 tablespoon at a time to round out the flavors.
Add 1/2 the tomato sauce into the bowl of a food processor. Process until smooth. Continue with remaining tomato sauce.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour portions into plastic freezer bags. This will freeze up to 6 months.

*After processing my sauce I still found it to be a little thick, so I added about a 1/2 can of plain tomato sauce, which thinned it out nicely.

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