About the Author (recipes)

Pasta sauce, My Way

This is more of a method than a recipe, really. It's my interpretation of David's parents' method, which is an interpretation of his Italian grandmother's method. No one in the family can figure out exactly how she makes hers -- no one's ever tastes the same or has the same texture, no matter how hard we try! Even if we can't duplicate hers, this sauce is *infinitely* better than store-bought canned or jarred sauce, and it doesn't take long to make.

Serves 4 adults, or 2 with leftovers!

Necessary equipment:



Have all of your ingredients ready before starting! When the garlic is cooking, you'll need to work kind of fast.

  1. Pour olive oil into the saucepan, so that it just covers the bottom in a thin layer. Heat it on a medium high burner.
  2. Put the garlic in the saucepan when the oil is hot. Saute for just a couple of minutes -- you don't want it to brown up, since that makes it crunchy and bitter. Yuck.
  3. When the garlic is fragrant in the oil, add the herbs and saute for a minute longer (to release the herbs' flavor).
  4. Deglaze the pan with the wine -- if any garlic has stuck to the bottom of the pan, it will release with the addition of wine. Allow the liquid to reduce until the oil/garlic/herb/wine mixture is slightly thickened, about 3 minutes.
  5. Put your food mill on top of the saucepan and pour the tomatoes in. The tomato liquid will stop the oil and wine from boiling and keep the garlic from burning.
  6. Grind the tomatoes into the pan. You shouldn't have any seeds or skins in the finished sauce, if the mill has done its job.
  7. Allow the sauce to simmer (partially covered to prevent messy splashes) for about 30 minutes, or until it reached a consistency you like. We used to simmer for only 10 minutes or so, for a very thin sauce, but I prefer it a little thicker than that now. If you'll be using it for pizza, simmer until it's more like tomato paste. If you want it thick quickly, drain the tomatoes before grinding them -- that way, you'll just be cooking with the solids, instead of the tomato juice they include in the can. Cook your pasta while the sauce simmers.
  8. That's it! Serve hot over pasta of your choice with some fresh grated cheese on the side (none of that Kraft canned stuff -- another abomination! -- it doesn't take long to grate parmesan or romano cheese with the proper tool). You can reheat leftovers on more pasta, or simmer it down a little more for pizza or calzones.

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