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Basic Red Wine Pasta Sauce

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    Basic Red Wine Pasta Sauce

    I'm going to start this area out with my basic pasta sauce.

    1 28oz can of crushed Roma tomatoes (one day I'll try fresh.)
    1 6oz can tomato paste
    1 cup red wine (I like a merlot for this.)
    2 tbsp wine vinegar (red or white)
    1 medium or large onion, large dice
    3 (or 5) cloves minced garlic (2 or 3 tbsp from a jar is okay)
    8oz sliced mushrooms (store packaged is fine if bought on the same day)
    5 links Italian sausage (1 to 1 1/4 lb), mild or spicy, your choice
    1/4 cup(ish) fresh basil and/or oregano (just wing it for this)
    1/4 cup(ish) olive oil for pan lube and adjusting the texture of the sauce.
    1 tsp sugar
    Salt and ground pepper to taste

    EDIT: Instead of vinegar you can experiment with the zest and juice from 1 lemon to brighten it up,

    Brown the links in a 12" sautee pan, until almost cooked thru. Remove the links. Add a tablesppon or two of olive oil and then sautee the mushrooms over medium-high heat until they just start to turn brown around the edges. Add a pinch of salt to help draw out their moisture. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium low. Add another pinch of salt and sweat until starting to become tender. Add the garlic and continue to sweat for another minute or two until the garlic is aromatic.

    Deglaze the pan with the wine. Add the wine vinegar, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes. the remaining olive oil, sugar, and reduce to a simmer. Slice the links about 1/4" thick and add to the sauce. Cover and simmer, stirring every so often for about an hour. Be sure the sausage slices are completely cooked, they should be at this point. Add the basil and/or oregano for the last 15 minutes.

    Add salt and ground pepper to taste. We prefer Montreal steak seasoning for pepper.

    We normally get about 6 to 8 servings from this, your mileage may vary. Enjoy!

    Note: not all ingredients are pictured. Click image for larger version  Name:	20210324_170800.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.62 MB ID:	1010518Click image for larger version  Name:	20210324_172149.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.49 MB ID:	1010519Click image for larger version  Name:	20210324_190047.jpg Views:	0 Size:	2.98 MB ID:	1010520Click image for larger version  Name:	20210324_190104.jpg Views:	0 Size:	1.72 MB ID:	1010521
    Last edited by boftx; March 30, 2021, 05:28 PM.

    Will try this. Thank you for sharing


      This sounds really good


        Nice recipe. A few thoughts for others trying this for the first time:

        Hold back on the vinegar until you see how the tomatoes you use are. Some are sweet and relatively low acid. Some... are not. Same for the sugar. Once you know how the brand of tomatoes that you use tastes, you can play with the vinegar and sugar (the Cento you show tends to be somewhat lower in acid to me). Obviously this is up each individual's preferences.

        Do not use a big, tannic red. Tannins don't really disappear in the sauce and can give it a drying mouthfeel. Merlot, Pinot, etc are good. I also would not use a big, high alcohol, woody wine here. Related to the above, wines have acid too, another reason I'd hold back the vinegar at first.

        One thing I've done is to make a large batch of the sauce without the meat, then do the meat as noted (browning the sausage, etc). That lets you have a base red sauce that you can use without meat if you want. That lets you:

        1) Stop right before adding the sausage and pull the sauce off the heat after about 10 minutes of simmering for a brighter sauce (say for pizza or just for a different use).

        2) Pureé some or all of it for a smoother sauce.

        3) Take part of it and vary the flavor (add red pepper flakes and capers and olives for a puttanesca style sauce, etc)
        Last edited by rickgregory; March 30, 2021, 11:52 AM.


        • mnavarre
          mnavarre commented
          Editing a comment
          There's also a pretty big difference between the Cento crushed tomatoes, the whole tomatoes, and the San Marzano. The whole tomatoes aren't as bright and sweet as the SM.

        A chef once told me during a cooking class that he always used fresh ingredients EXCEP tomatoes. He preferred canned tomatoes for their consistency.


        • boftx
          boftx commented
          Editing a comment
          I've heard/read similar things, too.

        • rickgregory
          rickgregory commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah I've heard similar. I also try to use the same brand over time since different brands can taste differently.

        With a pound of ground beef added, I'll bet that would be great for lasagna.


          but why would I not want to use fresh tomato in my food?? like the food is totally different when you use canned tomato instead of fresh


          • rickgregory
            rickgregory commented
            Editing a comment
            Two reasons:

            1) Fresh local tomatoes aren't in season when you make the sauce.
            2) Consistency.

            Now, in the summer, I try to buy a lot of local fresh paste tomatoes and make my own sauce to hold me over the winter. But I run out...



            I might give this a go but with grilled brats with a little heat of course.


              I might give this a try too. yunno, I'm just wandering around the forum to see if I can find a good recipe that is also not very hard to prepare and not that time-consuming. But this is a nice one and my mouth is watering when I imagine it. yeah for the wine I'm using merlot just like you said as it is better. I got some wine discounts and they really helped me a lot. and now I also understand why you use canned tomato and thank you rickgregory for also trying to clarify that to me. I was telling my mom about this recipe when I asked her about it and she even recommended me using the canned one. it's just because I usually use fresh tomatoes for my food but definitely gonna try it.



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