I have a lovely friend named Annette and when it comes to cooking, she is as old-school Italian as you can get. When lasagna is to be made, you start two days ahead of time so the sauce (with meat naturally) can simmer and you have time to make the noodles from scratch.
The other day as I stared at an abundance of fresh herbs in the garden, I thought of her and knew a sauce needed to be made. Don’t tell her that the garden tomatoes were not ripe so I used canned.
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil or extra virgin olive oil
1/2 sweet onion, roughly chopped
2 celery stalks, roughly chopped
2 carrots, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2 (32 ounce) can chopped or crushed tomatoes, (I used Muir Glen)
4 oz. tomato paste
1 cup water
2 large handfuls of fresh parsley, roughly chopped
2 large handfuls of fresh oregano, roughly chopped
2 large handfuls of fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon each course salt & black pepper, optional
1. In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrots and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes.
2. Add the garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
3. Add the tomatoes, then rinse each can with about a ¼ cup water, swirl and add to the pot with remaining 1 1/5 cups of water and tomato paste. Mix in the parsley, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Simmer covered on low heat for 1 hour.
4. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Feel free to simmer for much longer if you wish as the longer, the tastier.
5. Once cooled down, puree with immersion blender to make it less chunky if you wish.
If not using all the sauce, allow it to cool completely and pour 1 to 2 cup portions into freezer plastic bags or containers.