Stretch Your Food Dollars – Make This Super Easy Spaghetti Sauce
It never ceases to amaze me when I observe people in a grocery store buying expensive, fancy spaghetti and marinara sauces. Have you checked the prices lately? Oy Vey, as my dear departed grandmother would have said. May God rest her beautiful soul.
Easy, Delicious, Quick Spaghetti Sauce
Seriously, this is it:
1) Depending upon how much you want to make (and freeze) buy two large cans of diced tomatoes. I buy them at my nearest “dollar store”. Pour them, juice and all, into a pot.
2) Saute diced celery and onion (one bunch each) in olive oil. Add some garlic and sliced mushrooms , if you like them. [The Coach happens to intensely dislike garlic and mushrooms, so I omit these … when I’m cooking for him, which is almost always]. So I substitute some sliced red, yellow and/or green peppers. [He likes these]. Add to pot.
3) If you want some meat in the dish, saute it first, then add to pot. Add, in no particular order, some fresh or dried rosemary, basil, oregano, thyme, sage, sugar (one tablespoon), salt and pepper. A couple of bay leaves are also nice. Ooops — a cup of burgundy or other (inexpensive!) red wine really deepens the taste.
4) Bring to almost a boil and then simmer for, well, forever, if you like! The flavors will meld, the aroma will grace your kitchen and make you a veritable hero with your friends and family.
5) If you need to thicken the sauce, add some tomato paste (also purchased from a dollar store — 3 cans for 99 cents!). Someone I know swears that adding a tablespoon or so of cream cheese was his grandmother’s closely guarded super secret. Alas, poor Yorik, you couldn’t prove it by me. (Sorry, Steve).
Freeze, Freeze, Freeze!
Serve over pasta (also purchased from a dollar store — whole wheat is best) and freeze whatever you don’t use. Pull it out later for another lunch or dinner.
If you multiply the cost of these fancy sauces — some are $5 – $7 for only a a 12 ounce jar, over the amount you use in a year’s time, it really, really adds up. Whereas, you can make the same 64+ ounce sauce in 25 minutes time (I’ve timed it many times) for less then half the price. And you can freeze it for up to 6 months if you use decent freezer bags.
Looks great, smells great, tastes great, family thinks you’re Mr., Ms. or Mrs. Emeril, you apply for an executive chef’s job at the nearest restaurant, you get the job, you make big bucks — it’s all good!