Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Candid Cook: Easy Pasta / Pizza Sauce

In our house, we really like tomato sauce.  From spaghetti to lasagna rolls to pizza, it seems like I am always whipping up a quick batch to use for a meal. I agree that your best spaghetti and pasta sauces are going to be those you can cook for hours on end in the crock pot to get the flavors properly blended.  However, with 4 kids, a home business, and home school going on, I don't always have the luxury of getting things made in advance.  Hence, my "quick and easy" version that I use for everything last-minute.  Not only is it often cheaper than the jars / cans of tomato sauce you can buy in the store, it tastes much better, too. I bought a jar of the "good stuff" the other day in the store.  I had a mutiny on my hands.  Trust me, you're going to want to keep this recipe handy.

Easy Pasta / Pizza Sauce

2 (14.5 oz) cans of diced or crushed tomatoes
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 tsp dried, crushed oregano
1/2 tsp dried, crushed basil
1/4 tsp onion powder

If your tomatoes are diced, be sure to puree them in a blender before getting started.  If they are crushed, you don't have to do anything to them before cooking the sauce.

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer until heated through.

Challenging, right?

Okay, I'll give you a bonus recipe, just because you asked.

We like to use this sauce on our lasagna rolls.  If we have pepperoni in the house, we call them lasagna pizza rolls to make them sound fancier.  Either way they are some kind of good.

Here's how to assemble:

Break your lasagna noodles in half (use the edge of the counter to get a clean break) and boil until tender.  Drain and let cool slightly so you don't burn your fingers.  Lay out on the counter or a piece of foil.  Sprinkle cheese and other toppings in the middle, such as turkey sausage or pepperoni.  You can also cook up some mushrooms, onions, pepper, and zucchini.  That would be so amazing...

Roll up your noodles and place seam-side down in a casserole dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Top with a generous amount of your pasta sauce.

Sprinkle with a little more cheese.

Pop in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees F.  When the cheese is all melted, they are done.

Try not to drool before eating.

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