Moms handing down recipes to daughters.
This recipe was a staple of my childhood. Never written down, my mom made it from her head. She learned it from her mom who, of course, made it from her head.
Someone write this down.
When I went to college and had an apartment of my own, I craved it something fierce. Calling my mom, I got instructions that went something like this: "Brown some ground meat with some onions and garlic powder, add some sauce and paste - more paste than sauce - with some water to thin it, add some basil and oregano - more basil than oregano...". Umm, yeah. Thanks, Mom. I'm sure it will taste exactly the same.
I cleverly refined my approach: drive home, sit down with paper and pencil, and say, "Okay, Mom, make sauce." So I did, and so she did, and I watched with a keen eye and took careful notes. I still didn't have exact amounts, but I felt confident I could recreate this masterpiece. Wrong-O!
Do you know what happens when you make lasagna with sauce that is way too thin? Those noodles slide all around on your plate like Bambi's attempt to ice skate. It does not stand nicely in cubed form, but rather resembles something like "pasta splat". That's what.
In time, I found success. I learned not to over-water. I took some initiative and made adjustments, adding fresh garlic cloves, basil, and oregano - instead of dried. I discovered that a bit of hot chicken sausage is nice. Both my lasagna and I can stand tall.
It's taken many batches of trial-and-error to get this Keeper written down. No longer stuck in anyone's head, I am finally able to share it with you.
This recipe becomes a Quick Hit when you make this large batch and freeze portions into quart-size freezer bags. Lay flat to freeze so they stack nice.
To heat from frozen, simply run the bag under hot water for a few seconds to loosen it, cut across the bottom of the freezer bag (not the zippered part), and slide out into a sauce pan. Heat on low, stirring occasionally, while you boil some pasta.
Dinner in a jiffy!
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 yellow onions chopped
- 4 teaspoons garlic minced
- ⅜ cup dried basil (or ½ cup chopped fresh basil)
- ¼ cup dried oregano
- 29 ounces tomato sauce
- 29 ounces tomato paste
- 29 ounces canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes
- 2 cups water
- ¼ cup sugar (double if you like a sweeter sauce)
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- In a large pot over medium heat, add onions to olive oil and stir until evenly coated. Saute until translucent.
- Add garlic, basil, oregano, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and sauce.
- Add water to desired consistency and stir thoroughly. Blend, if desired, for a smoother sauce.
- Add to pasta or use to make Italian meatballs.
- One serving = 6 ounces.
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