Friday, February 15, 2008

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Several years ago, Martha Stewart came out with her Everyday Food Magazine. I loved it! Cloe was a new baby and money was kind of tight since I was going to be staying home with her, so I would cut corners and save pennies so I could buy the new issue as soon as it hit the stands. Then I would try and make all these fancy recipes adapted to our little budget. It was fun and we had an assortment of really good "Martha Stewart" meals there for awhile! A few of the recipes have stuck with us and we enjoy them often. Our favorite is for Baked Ravioli. I mostly use this recipe for the spaghetti sauce, but it's also really good baked with the ravioli or penne pasta. Of course, it is tweaked a little, so I'll give you my version...

2 T. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
coarse salt and pepper
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
1 large (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes
1 large (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cool, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add oregano and tomatoes. (Taste test to make sure it takes good--it might need more salt.) Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce starts to thicken (20-25 minutes).

For baked ravioli or pasta, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Cook pasta according to box directions. Drain and mix with pasta sauce in a 9x13 baking dish. Top with 1 1/2 c. mozarella cheese and 1/2 c. grated Parmesan. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes.

**To add a little punch of nutrition and vitamin A, add 1/2 c. shredded or pureed carrots to the sauce. It adds a really nice, hearty flavor!