- Basil (3 stems with 3-4 leaves on each)
- Italian Parsley (3-4 stems with leaves on)
- Thyme (3-4 stems)
- 3 Bay Leaves
- About 10 whole peppercorns
Wrap these items up in a tied cheesecloth pouch for easy removal later.
- Olive oil
- 2 carrots, diced
- 5 stalks of celery, diced
- 2 large yellow onions, diced
- 8 cloves of garlic, diced
- 4 26-oz boxes of chicken stock
- 2 12-oz cans of tomato paste
- 1 gi-normous (6 lb.) can of crushed tomatoes
- Italian seasoning blend (I like Frank Davis’ N’Awlins Sicilian Seasoning)
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 3 glasses of wine (1 for the sauce, 2 for the cook)
Pour a glass of wine and set aside. Look up the words to an Italian song to sing intermittently while cooking.
Sauté onions, celery, carrots and garlic in olive oil until lightly browned. Sip wine while stirring. When lightly browned, add tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, and chicken stock. Stir. Add seasoning pouch.
Simmer for about 30 minutes and then start tasting. Add more stock if it’s too thick, more tomato paste if it’s too thin. Add salt and Italian seasoning to taste. Add sugar to balance the acidity according to your taste.
Continue simmering til it gets the way you like it, while sipping the second glass of wine. Sing the Italian song to bring out the fullness of the flavors.
My kids don’t like chunky veggies, so I cooked mine a long time (about 2 ½ hours) to get the veggies soft enough to “disappear.” Then I used Chef Rob’s trick: use an immersion blender to puree the chunky veggies. This will disguise them for the kids and speed up cooking time. (Read the instructions if you’re not familiar with using an immersion blender. Trust me on this.)
This recipe made enough sauce for me to have about 4 meals for my family of 5. I freeze it in small containers (about 3 cups) so I can take out the amount I need.
Enjoy! And if you try it out, I’d love to hear how it goes!