Best Vegetarian Pasta Sauce
(Louisville, Ky, USA)
- 1 1lb.12oz. can crushed tomatoes, or whole Roma tomatoes, drained and crushed
- 1/2 can whole black olives, or 1/2 cup marinated (deli) olives (omit salt), chopped and pitted
- 1 13oz can mushrooms, or 1/2lb of fresh sliced mushrooms
- 1 shallot, thinly sliced, 1/3 reserved
- 1 medium onion, diced, 1/2 reserved
- 4-6 cloves garlic, depending on size, sliced or minced (I prefer sliced)
- 1-2 medium carrots, sliced or diced
- 1 celery heart, or two stalks plus a pinch of celery seed (reserved), sliced or diced
- 1 medium yellow squash
- 1 medium zucchini
- 1 tb (tablespoon) oregano or 5 fresh sprigs
- 1 tb marjoram
- 1 tb basil, or 5 fresh leaves
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tb high-quality extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup red wine (make sure wine is DRINKING quality, NOT cooking wine), 1/4 reserved (optional)
- 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
- 2 tb balsamic vinegar
- 2 tb Romano cheese (optional)
- 2 tb Parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 tb MSG (optional)
- Grey sea salt, or plain sea salt, or kosher to taste
- Pepper melange or fresh ground pepper to taste
- After preparing and reserving vegetables, heat olive oil in large pan or skillet.
- Saute olives, 2/3 shallot, 1/2 onion, garlic, carrots, and celery until they begin to blacken around edges, or until minced garlic turns golden brown.
- Add 3/4 cup red wine and reduce until gone.
- Add vinegars and reduce until gone.
- Add remaining shallot and onion, mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash and saute until onion is translucent.
- Add crushed tomatoes, Romano cheese, MSG, and herbs. Stir until combined, add remaining wine, salt and pepper and stir again.
- Simmer on low for one hour, uncovered, adding water if necessary, and stirring occasionally.