Disclaimer: I am not a photographer.
Please do not hold it against the pasta sauce!
Have you ever noticed the size of the pasta aisle at the grocery store? Jar after jar of sauces that have almost identical ingredients, but varying prices. The really cheap stuff has added high-fructose corn syrup, soybean oil, and no expiration date, the more expensive versions have...well, more expensive packaging.
And don't even get me started on the sauces with meat in them. Blah.
One of the more expensive, organic brands that I was looking at had Zinfandel as an ingredient. It also had tomato puree, tomato paste and spices. I suddenly had a moment of brilliance.
I could create my own version and save the $5.oo per jar cost!
Simply said, yes.
And it was good.
2 medium yellow onions, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil + 2 Tb. for sauteing
1 t. dried oregano
1 scant teaspoon sea salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 quart canned tomatoes, broken up (or the equivalent of)
1 small can tomato paste
2 Tb. packed brown sugar
1 cup White Zinfandel
1 bay leaf, broken in half
In a heavy pan, saute the onions for about 3 minutes in some olive oil.
Add the celery and garlic and continue to cook for a couple minutes more. Add more olive oil if necessary.
Come closer. Can you smell it yet?
Dump the jar of tomatoes and can of tomato paste into a large pot. Stir well.
Add the brown sugar.
Add the chopped basil to the tomatoes, along with the salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
Remove the onions from the heat and dump them into the tomato sauce pot.
Add the White Zinfandel and stir well.
Add the 1/4 cup olive oil and the bay leaf.
Bring the sauce to a boil; reduce heat and simmer with a lid on for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Or, if you prefer, place in a crockpot and cook on low for 4-6 hours.
Serve with your favorite pasta and sprinkle with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.
*This made enough for my family...times 2!