Thursday, September 1, 2011

Simple Meaty Tomato Sauce

Thanks for bearing with me through my week-long hiatus.  We took a long weekend and went to the beach house in Rhode Island at the end of last week.  Friday was one of the nicest beach days of the year, hot and sunny.  Saturday we were evacuated due to the approaching hurricane.  Sunday we spent the day at our own house, without power or water,  listening to trees and branches crack outside.  Monday, facing a second day without power and no end in sight, we fled to my parents' house in New Hampshire.  Finally, yesterday afternoon I arrived back home and spent the afternoon throwing out half the food in our refrigerator and actually cleaning the shelves.  It's nice to have things back to normal.

I've mentioned before how much I hate wasting food.  It feels wrong to me on so many levels.  When I saw that five of the tomatoes from the CSA had some ugly black spots on them yesterday, I knew I wouldn't be making fresh caprese salad, but I could use them for a delicious homemade tomato sauce.  This was a throw everything together as I go kind of recipe, so feel free to use it to get some ideas. I will say, however, that the addition of the sherry gives it a little something extra.

Simple Meaty Tomato Sauce
1/2 pound ground beef or turkey
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
4-5 tomatoes, cut into chunks (you can use canned diced tomatoes as well)
1 small can tomato paste
Fresh or dried basil and oregano
Salt and pepper
1/4 cup sherry (I used the cheap cooking sherry from the market.  If you actually drink sherry and have good stuff on hand, by all means, pour it in)

In a heavy bottomed pot (I used a dutch oven), brown the meat.  Depending on how much grease it releases, drain.
Add in onion and saute for a few minutes.
Add in garlic and cook for one more minute.
Add in chopped tomatoes and tomato paste.
Add in herbs, salt and pepper.
Pour in sherry.
Simmer for 15-20 minutes until it thickens to your desired consistency.  I let mine go for longer because the tomatoes were extra juicy, and I wanted the sauce on the thick side.
Toss with pasta and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.

This made several cups, so you can easily freeze the leftovers, provided that you don't lose power and everything in your freezer turns into an unidentifiable blob.


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