Main Dish Monday: My Famous Red Sauce

by Hope Sewell on November 14, 2011

in recipes

Happy Monday everybody!!
I hope your weekend has been relaxing and enjoyable!!

For today’s main dish, I’m doing something a little bit different.  Instead of showing you a meal, I’m going to show you a portion of meal….but it’s also a MAIN ingredient in many of my recipes.
This red sauce can be used in many ways!  I use it for spaghetti by adding a little bit of ground beef to it.  It also gets used on pizzas that we make here in the Sewell house.  It’s GREAT in homemade lasagna and baked ziti.  Basically, you can use it anywhere you would use jarred spaghetti, marinara, or pizza sauce.
And really, when it comes to pasta sauces, there’s just nothing like homemade.
Here’s what you need to get started.

Whenever I make this, I ALWAYS triple the recipe so that I use the entire bottle of Merlot.  It makes a huge pot full as you will see so I stock up my freezer.
It’s really really simple.Finely dice a large red onion.Measure out 3/4 cup of olive oil and pour it in your pot.  Add in the onion and about 6 cloves of garlic, minced.Cook this until the onion is soft and translucent.  Do NOT burn the garlic!!  You can even start your onion cooking before adding in the garlic.  Burnt garlic equals starting over!!
Add oregano and bay leaves.
Cook another minute or two and add the crushed tomatoes, 6 tablespoons of honey, salt and pepper and the entire bottle of red wine (that should equal 3 cups).  Bring this to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover leaving the lid slightly ajar.  Cook for at least 30 minutes but I like to go an hour or so.  Stirring occasionally.Give me a loaf of french bread and I’m good for a while!!
Ladle the leftovers into freezer bags and lay flat to freeze.  We love love LOVE this!!


Red Sauce
3/4 cup olive oil

1 large red onion, diced
6 cloves of garlic minced
4 1/2 teaspoons oregano
6 bay leaves
6 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
3 cups (1 bottle) red wine
6 tablespoons honey
salt and pepper to taste.

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in a large heavy pot.  Saute until onions are soft.  Do NOT burn the garlic.  Add oregano and bay leaves.  After another minute or two, add tomatoes, honey, salt and pepper, and wine.  Bring to a simmer.  Cook over low heat slightly covered for 30 minutes or longer.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

MC November 15, 2011 at 1:38 pm

That looks yummy, thanks for sharing! I would probably make only 1/3rd of the recipe at once so that I can drink the other 2 cups of wine :)

Dare I ask… what happens if you burn the garlic?


Hope Sewell November 15, 2011 at 2:45 pm

LOL!! Burnt garlic tastes TERRIBLE!!! Enjoy!


Jenn Erickson/Rook No. 17 November 21, 2011 at 3:00 pm

Your red sauce sounds wonderful, and I love the idea about freezing it in the ziploc bags.

In this week of Thanksgiving I especially want you to know how grateful I am to have you be a part of the creative spirit and camaraderie at Rook No. 17. Thank you for linking up to “A Little Birdie Told Me…”!


P.S. I’m featuring your post on my Facebook page today.


Marla Riedling March 4, 2013 at 3:52 pm

Can fresh tomatoes be used instead? I keep seeing a lot of negative things about canned tomatoes. Which sucks because some of my favorite quick recipes use canned diced tomatoes. :( If I used fresh what would you estimate it would take in pounds and extra cooking time? Thanks!


Hope Sewell March 15, 2013 at 7:05 pm

Oh I think you could totally use fresh tomatoes over canned. As far as the amount estimation I’m thinking around 20 tomatoes for the full version and I don’t think you’ll need any extra cooking time. But I’m so not an expert. If you try it, let me know how it works out.


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