Of course, there are a myriad of ways to name this sauce. Marinara, red sauce, pasta sauce, meat sauce, gosh, we could go on for ages. Here is a wonderful basic sauce that can be used for dozens of variations, all guaranteed to be great and unique. Making you the squadron leader of cooking.
Basic Ingredients. I recommend that you always keep these on hand as they are inexpensive and versatile. You can cook this up on a minutes notice, and save it for use in minutes with all the varieties of a seasoned chef.
- Olive Oil – 1/2 cup
- Yellow or brown onion, 1 medium, chopped to small pieces. (2 or even 3 onions would also be ok)
- Bell pepper – 1 (or 2)
- Garlic – 1 clove Plain fresh crushed garlic – can be whatever is easiest for you. or a number of new ways to get it from your local market. Use powdered if that is all you have on hand.
- Crushed red pepper – to taste
- Oregano – 1 tablespoon
- Italian Spice – 1 tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- Sugar 1 – 2 tablespoon (this is a huge secret – do not let this out!)
- Canned whole tomatoes, or crushed – 3. (Never use paste or sauce for this recipe.)
In a sauce pan (large is easier than small in case you wish to reduce your mess), heat the olive oil and add the yellow onion. Cook until the onion is clarified or even slightly brown or caramelized. Add strips of the bell pepper and cook until soft. Add the 3 cans of the tomatoes. If they are the whole tomatoes, take a wooden spoon and smash them in the pan. Season this mix with the Oregano, Italian spice and sugar. Salt as you wish it to taste. Take half the sauce for meat or plain and half for other varieties described below.
My favorite is Spanish Rice. I learned to cook mostly so I could have Spanish Rice my way. (Thanks Mom). I simply never found it available anywhere else.