This is my go to sauce that pleases everyone. When we have surprise guests or even planned quests I will usually make this sauce.
You can make a small batch or a huge batch and freeze part of it for an emergency meal.
I normally have most of the important ingredients in the pantry. All you need to make it your own are a few fresh ingredients.
I always have several 28 oz cans of San Marzano Tomatoes in my pantry. I buy them when they go on sale.
You don’t have to use San Marzano, any type of canned tomatoes will work but you will need to add about 2 tsp of sugar if you don’t use them. The San Marzano’s tend to be a little less acidic and slightly more sweet.
This sauce can be used as spaghetti sauce, lasagna sauce, or any other Italian recipe sauce. I have used it over eggplant, chicken breasts, etc.
1-2 onions- diced
2 stalks celery-diced
10-15 cloves of garlic-chopped- depending on your love of garlic.
2 lbs of 80% Hamburger meat
2-4 tbsp of Italian herbs-you can buy the mixture or mix you own. (thyme, basil, oregano)
1-2 tsp of dried red chili pepper-
2- 28oz cans of San Marzano tomatoes, doesn’t matter if they are whole, diced or pureed.
Couple good squirts of tomato paste. I have a tube in the refrigerator, or use 2 tbsp of can paste.
6oz can of black olives
salt and pepper to taste.
Start by saute’ing the onions and celery, cook for 5-7 minutes, add the hamburger-chop it up as it cooks so it ends up being very small chunks. Cook until the burger is almost done and add the garlic, herbs and chili peppers. Add the tomatoes and paste. Simmer 5 minutes.
While the sauce is simmering, you have time to chop up whatever fresh vegetable you have to add to the sauce. I generally have mushrooms and zucchini hanging out in the refrigerator. I chop up a can of black olives and pour about 1/3 of the juice from the can into the sauce. Add a little water if it looks a little thick.
Let the sauce simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Usually about another half hour.
Serve over any type of pasta.
I normally keep the sauce separate and reheat as I need it. This is perfect to take for lunches to work.
Add a little Parmesan or mozzarella cheese- garlic bread.