This is the first installment of a monthly recipe using real food. Several years ago, I decided to start using more whole foods and crowd out the pre packaged, boxed foods for the health of my family. Our meals have become more delicious and healthier as a result. Since changing our cooking habits to use more vegetables and whole foods, we have noticed more energy and less sickness within our household. Each month, I will share one of our family’s favorite recipes which use real foods and are fairly easy to cook.
Here is a really easy recipe for a basic marinara sauce that can be whipped up on a Sunday and leaves leftovers that can either be used during the week (can you say grilled pizza?) or frozen for a quick meal later. In this version I use Italian sausage, but you could serve with meatballs or go meatless. It’s completely basic so feel free to experiment and put in any herbs, spices or vegetables that you like. Let me know what you add! My method is typically to begin the first time with the original recipe and then throw some stuff in until it tastes good. I eyeball things quite a bit when cooking so if I say “add about” or you see “more” in parenthesis it’s because I like to add extra of whatever it is. So here is the recipe. Enjoy!
- (4) 29 oz. cans crushed tomatoes (I like organic because there is a deeper flavor)
- 5 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley (more)
- 1 cup chopped basil (more)
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste (I love the packs that come with this already portioned)
- 1 lb Italian sausage
In a Dutch oven (big pot with lid), melt the butter along with the olive oil on medium until butter is melted. Add in the crushed garlic and stir to keep from burning. After 1 minute add in the tomato paste and stir, cooking for 1 minute. Add all 4 cans of tomatoes and the Italian seasoning. Heat on medium until bubbly, then turn down to low and cover. Next, in a frying pan brown the Italian sausage. If you bought the sausage in links you just slice open the casing and turn the sausage out into the frying pan before browning. When it is brown drain well and add it to the Dutch oven. Cook the whole mixture for about an hour on low stirring occasionally. Ten minutes before serving, chiffonade the basil and chop the parsley on your cutting board, then add the chopped parsley and basil. I said “more” on these 2 because I typically leave some on a plate nearby in case anyone wants to throw some extra on their plate. Serve over angel hair (al dente) or pasta of your choice.
Check back on the first Friday of each month for brand new, delicious recipe using whole foods.
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