Batch Recipes · Italian Recipe

Back in Action

Well, the Olympics are long over and I’m finally getting back to normal.  Actually, I don’t know that I can use the term “normal” to describe anything about me.  Seriously, everything in my life, all of my life choices, and even my personality/sense of humor are all a little off kilter, so perhaps I should just say that I’m getting back to my usual self?

Anyway, I digress. Since my last post, we celebrated National Nutrition Month in March, so I was a wee bit busy.  School was status quo, but at work we had some special events for both employees and residents.  Good times all around.

I’m in the middle of writing a research proposal on the anti-aging benefits of niacin supplements (the jury’s still out – a lot more research needs to be done, so don’t go start overloading on niacin supplements, please!) and taking two online courses on the ethical treatment of humans and animals in research (don’t be jealous), so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet.

In my last post, I promised my recipe for tomato sauce.  The recipe makes a large batch, so you can cut it down if you want, but you might regret that decision once you taste it.  I actually eat it by the spoonful.  It doesn’t seem like anything special, but for some reason I love it so much better than jarred sauces.  And it’s better for you than most of them…bonus!

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Easy Tomato/Pasta Sauce

Ingredients
1 medium onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
4-5 stalks of celery, diced
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 (28 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can low sodium tomato sauce
3 large bay leaves
1 Tbsp dried basil
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (less if you don’t like spice)
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt & Pepper

Directions
In a big pot, sauté onion in olive oil over medium heat until it begins to soften. Add garlic and celery and continue to sauté for about 2 minutes. Add carrots and tomato paste and stir well. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, bay leaves, basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, and about ½ tsp each of salt & pepper and increase heat to medium-high. When sauce begins to boil, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add more salt & pepper if needed. If you don’t like chunks, you can remove the bay leaves and blend until sauce is smooth. An immersion blender is probably easiest, but you could also blend in batches in a standard blender. I personally love the chunks, so I skip the blender.  I generally toss in a handful of roughly chopped basil at the end as well…that’s optional but I love basil so I can’t get enough.

Buon appetito!

TomatoSauce2
I mixed in some ground turkey to make it a meat sauce and served over whole wheat pasta with a little parmesan & chopped basil…om nom nom!