Thursday, April 15, 2010

Homemade Pasta Sauce

Someone once asked me if I would still make everything from scratch if I had money to buy ready made. Although I probably might buy a little more ready made (if I could find chemical free), there are some things that are just so easy to make that I don't understand why anyone buys it ready made, even if they do have money.
Pasta sauce (aka marinara sauce or pizza sauce or tomato sauce) is one of them. I can whip up a nice sized batch (that's even tastier than the store bought variety) in under 5 minutes. Here's how.

Homemade Pasta Sauce:

2.5 cups tomato paste (this should be approximately a 12 oz can of tomato paste, I think. My cans are different sizes here as they're in grams, so just measure with cups)
4 cups water
1 tablespoon oil
1 large onion
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon salt (I like things saltier, you may prefer a little less salt)
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon black pepper
1-2 teaspoons sugar (Optional. My tomato paste comes with added fructose, so I don't add sugar.)

1. Chop the onion and sauté in a medium pot. Mince the garlic and add it to the onion when translucent.
2. Add the tomato paste and water. Mix until it is uniform, with no lumps of tomato paste.
3. Add salt, oregano, marjoram, and pepper (and sugar)
4. Heat until the sauce starts bubbling.
5. Devour.

Yield: Approximately 36 fluid oz of sauce. With this recipe, I filled the above 24 oz jar as  well as the additional 12 oz jar.
Total preparation time: 5 minutes to sauté the onions. If you keep sautéd onions in the freezer, you can whip up a batch in under a minute.
Variations: Add 1 teaspoon basil. You may leave out the marjoram if you use the basil. The more the merrier. Really any Italian spices would work fine in this recipe. I always throw in a bit of this and a bit of that, depending on my mood. You can sauté peppers with the onions, or add diced tomatoes or sliced zucchini before adding the paste.
Uses: Pasta, pizza, calzones, fish, chicken, lasagna, etc. Limitless.

Cost saved: According to netgrocer.com, tomato paste would cost 2 dollars. The same amount of marinara sauce would cost 6 dollars. Why pay triple the price for 5 minutes worth of work?

Do you ever buy marinara sauce? If so, why do you find it a worthwhile buy? What do you put in your sauce?

This is part of Grocery Cart Challenge's recipe swap

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