Simmering sauce.

29 Apr

Ever have a night when cooking feels like a chore – but you don’t want to go out to eat or pick up something? I try to keep certain items in my freezer for just those occasions. Among my ready-to-go options: portion-sized salmon steaks ready to throw on the grill or in the oven (they defrost in minutes), pre-cooked shredded chicken ready to add to a salad or to use for enchiladas or tacos, and finally, meatballs. I never make less than 50 at a time and freeze them on a cookie sheet after I’ve baked and cooled them. Then I throw a meal’s worth into freezer bags; they will defrost and warm up when added to a simmering sauce. Or pile them on a roll for an Italian meatball sub.

Generally I always keep both pint and quart containers of spaghetti/pizza sauce on hand, too. So I was surprised when I couldn’t find any today!! Luckily I found this quick tomato sauce in The America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook (2006). It lives up to its name. Easy to throw together and honestly – it tastes like it simmered for hours. Try it, you’ll like it! I’m a big fan of America’s Test Kitchen. You don’t have to worry that their recipes won’t turn out! You can still find this hefty 800+ cookbook in stores and online.

Quick Tomato Sauce

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

3 tablespoons minced fresh basil

¼ teaspoon sugar


Cook the oil and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring often, until fragrant but not browned, about 2 minutes. Stir in the crushed and diced tomatoes with their juice. Bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, 15 to 20 minutes.

Stir in the basil and sugar. Season with salt to taste. When tossing the sauce with pasta, add some of the pasta cooking water as need to loosen the consistency of the sauce.

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