Bonnie’s Mom's Tomato Sauce
- 4 cans (14-16 ounces) tomatoes, crushed, whole, or stewed, pref. salt free
- 2 small cans tomato paste, preferably salt-free
- 1 large can stems and pieces mushrooms
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic SALT (not garlic powder)
- 1 tablespoon celery seed
- 1/4 (scant) teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1/2 cup sugar
- Olive oil (or other good salad oil)
- 1/3 cup red wine (optional)
- Cook chopped onion in a couple of tablespoons oil, until limp, but not brown.
- Add other ingredients, breaking up tomatoes if they are whole.
- Cook in a 4-quart pot, or dutch oven, but the latter may be too big. Simmer, uncovered, about 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until thickened to desired consistency.
- Right before it is done, add a little more olive oil for flavor, as cooking tends to destroy the flavor of olive oil. Use a good extra-virgin oil, like Goya (Consumer Report top rated it as a “Best Buy,” as it is cheap AND good).
You can vary this recipe by adding 1 pound lean ground beef to the onions when they are cooking. Or buy pre-made Italian-flavored meatballs, and add them to the sauce the last 20 minutes or so, to heat through. I use Italian-style turkey meatballs, and they are quite good.
Serve over cooked pasta of any kind. I like Vermicelli, because it cooks quickly. Shell noodles are good, too.
Note: If you use salt-free tomatoes and paste, and the sauce tastes a bit bland despite the garlic salt, then use salt-free tomatoes, but regular tomato paste.
Also, if you have a new bottle or can of pepper flakes, go easy on the flakes; they will be very hot the first time it's opened. Once it's been opened for awhile, then you can use a little more. And you won't need as much oil when cooking it with ground beef. And you may need to make the celery seed and garlic salt HEAPING tablespoons if you cook with ground beef, as it tends to tone down the flavors.
Submitted by: Bonnie