Big Batch of Red Sauce

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I feel like it is a rite of Italian passage to have your own sauce/gravy recipe, so being 1/4 Italian I need to have this under my culinary belt. My mother is not Italian but makes a mean red sauce, my aunt on my fathers side however makes the most epic red sauce & when paired with the meatballs she and my uncle make it is actual heaven. This combo is famous amongst the family & even though vegetarian I HAVE to eat one whenever I go there and they make (it would be a sin not to). My mom has tried to replicate their recipe but to no avail haha. *Sorry Mom still love you*

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I did some studying (how lame of me I know) and decided to combine some elements of some of the most popular recipes I came across. My recipe is below! Note to everyone, I LOVE GARLIC so you may want to add a little less if you are not as big of a fan as I am.

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
freshly ground pepper
1 medium carrot, peeled
7 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 15-oz can “no salt added” diced tomatoes ( I like to use unsalted because then you can control the saltiness)
6 fresh basil leaves, rough chopped
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to finish

First chop your onions, garlic, and peel your carrots! I just learned how to properly cut an onion thanks to Gordon Ramsey, I used to make such a mess and have uneven cuts!

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Then chop your basil! I love fresh basil, hopefully I can keep this alive for longer than all the other plants in my apartment. Once chopped you are ready to begin!

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Heat olive oil in a medium (at least 3 quart) pot over medium heat. Add onion, kosher salt, and freshly ground pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.

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Add carrot and garlic and cook until carrot is soft, about 10 minutes.

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Increase the heat to high, then add the balsamic vinegar. The balsamic vinegar will deglaze the pan & begin to reduce into a heavenly mixture. Stir until almost all the liquid is gone. Add the diced tomatoes and basil and bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Season with freshly ground pepper, cover, and simmer 45 minutes.

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Uncover the pot and continue to simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes!

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When the mixture has cooled slightly, you can either transfer to a blender for an extremely smooth mixture or use an immersion blender like the one in the image below (mine is an ancient hand me down, I am sure there are fancier versions out there now). Transfer to small mason jars and freeze or serve (will keep for 5 days in fridge). I like to use the teeny mason jars to freeze sauce because usually I am cooking for one, and it is much simpler to defrost a single serving. All in all, this recipe came out really good! I needed to let the balsamic vinegar reduce a bit more, as there was a slight bitter taste…so lesson learned.

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