A basic marinara sauce that can be used in a wide variety of dishes! Freeze any leftovers for an easy weeknight meal. Perfect for a basic marinara sauce, as part of a more complex italian main dish, or even as a base for soup!
3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups chopped onion
3/4 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1/4 cup minced garlic
3 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 Tbsp unsalted tomato paste
1/2 cup dry red wine
5 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, peeled and chopped (or canned tomatoes, if fresh isn’t in season)
1 bay leaf
3/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil; swirl to coat. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through red pepper); sauté 8 minutes. Add tomato paste; cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates.
2. Combine vegetable mixture, tomatoes, and bay leaf in an electric slow cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for 8 hours. Remove bay leaf.
3. Place 3 cups tomato mixture (or more depending on how smooth you want the sauce) in a blender. Remove center piece of blender lid; secure lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid. Blend until smooth. Return tomato mixture to slow cooker. Add basil, salt, and black pepper. Cook, uncovered, on HIGH 30 minutes.
Yield: 12 servings (104 calories, 3.9 g total fat, 0.6 g saturated fat, 2.8 g protein, 14.7 g carbohydrate, 3.7 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol)
Adapted From Cooking Light, January 2013