Before I married my husband, when I didn't feel like cooking, I would pop open a jar of Ragu, boil some pasta, and voila - dinner. But, as luck would have it, I married a "gourmet chef" who turns his nose up at anything pre-made that comes out of a jar. I since have joined him in turning my nose up anything that is not homemade (although, I still die for mac and cheese out of the box tho). He showed me how to make my own spaghetti sauce, and it is surprisingly easy! I usually make this on my day off, which also happens to be my cleaning day. I'll usually start the sauce around noon and let it simmer and do it's thing while I clean. Here's what you'll need:
2 bell peppers (colors of your choice)
1 medium yellow or white onion
4 garlic cloves (more or less depending on your taste)
baby bella mushrooms (I use to whole carton, but you can use less)
1 large can of tomato sauce
1 can of diced tomatoes (this one is roasted garlic flavored, cause I can't get enough!)
salt and pepper
red pepper flakes (if you enjoy a little spice)
wine (I prefer a Cab)
First, dice up all you veggies (if you have a slap chop as shown below, it will save you a boatload of time. I truly recommend one!) Add all the chopped veggies to a deep pan (you will want it deep enough to cook a good amount of sauce in) Add all the seasonings shown above. This is the point where I add the majority of the flavor to the sauce. I like food really flavorful, so I add a generous amount of everything shown above. The rule I follow tho, is you can always add more, but you can't take it out.
After the veggie's are nice and soft (I always test a bit of carrot) add both can's of tomato sauce. Fill up the bigger can with water, and also add that to the pan. After the sauce is added, slice up the mushrooms and add them. At this point, you'll want to add a dash of balsamic vinegar (sorry, I don't measure anything, so you'll have to use your discretion while following my rule), a teaspoon of sugar, a dash of wine (preferable a wine that you will want to drink with dinner), and the juice from half a squeezed lemon (this really brightens up the sauce). Put on medium, and allow to simmer for the next four to five hours. Taste test every hour, just to see how the flavors are melding together, and adding more seasoning or water if needed.
Once the flavor and consistency of the sauce is to your liking, boil up your choice of pasta (I went a little healthier and used whole wheat thin spaghetti) and serve with your glass of wine and maybe some garlic bread. Go ahead, indulge. ;)