Michael and I, as you’ve read previously and will continue to read, are foodies. We’re those froofy people who think dining should be an experience. In the coming weeks/months/years, I’m sure you’ll hear about our wonderful food adventures & experiments. Today is not that day.
Today, I speak to you not as Stephanie the Foodie. Today, I am Stephanie the Work-From-Home-Mom who, some days, wishes I had a housekeeper/nanny. (Who am I kidding? I wish for a housekeeper/nanny every day.) I have a few go-to recipes I can whip up in a jiff and achieve total satisfaction from my clan (sans the boy).
My all-time favorite “quick whip” recipe is my red sauce. We love Italian food and we don’t have time to take a week to cook and jar tomatoes and sauce. This is SOOOOO easy and my secret ingredient makes it taste like I’ve been slaving away all day, so it makes a weekly appearance at my table. Here it is.
To make one small pot of sauce — enough for about 6 servings — you need (it’s all pictured here):
• a sauce pan
• extra virgin olive oil
• one (1) small yellow onion ~ loose chopped
• two (3) or three (3) cloves of garlic ~ diced
• a can of diced tomatoes
• a can of tomato sauce
• a tiny can of tomato paste
• dried/fresh basil
• dried/fresh parsley
• red wine (I always have bottle of something that I never got around to finishing before it turned)
• your favorite traditional PESTO (that’s right. Pesto!)
Now, when I say this thing is easy, I mean, it’s EASY PEASY!
~ Heat your pan to medium heat (about 5 on my range).
~ Pour some extra virgin olive oil in the hot pan — enough to cover the surface — and wait about 15 seconds.
~ Sautée your loosly chopped onions & diced garlic together until tender — the smell is AWESOME!
~ Then add herbs and sautée for about one more minute.
~ Add wine — only if you plan to let you sauce simmer for about 30 minutes before serving. I let that simmer for about 5 minutes.
~ Add tomato products and my secret weapon: PESTO!
That’s right. A big heaping tablespoonful. Why pesto?
It’s because the flavors have already fused together.
It’s a no-brainer!
~ Bring sauce to a nice low bubble and then lower heat to a low simmer. I only lower the temp to keep it warm while I’m preparing my pasta or let the wine and herbs infuse a little more. If you don’t use wine and/or extra herbs, once it’s bubbling, it’s ready to serve. It’s that fast!
My only other notes to add:
~ If you’re like me, you often have freshly cut herbs that are on their way out and you don’t want to throw them away. USE THEM! Sage and rosemary also work well and add great flavor. Get creative!
~ I did not forget to mention salt and pepper! There’s no need for them because the pesto already has enough flavor. Trust me. I’ve made that mistake!
It satisfies my lack of time or desire to cook and quenches my taste for good food.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Inactive Cooking Time: approx 10 minutes