A perfectly balanced, intensely flavorful red sauce that I use as the foundation for all kinds of recipes like lasagna, baked ziti, spaghetti, spaghetti pie, and more.
1large oniondiced small (about 3 cups)
1green bell pepperdiced small (about 1 1/2 cups)
6medium cloves garlicminced (about 2 tablespoons)
128-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes (diced fire-roasted tomatoes will work too)
16-ounce can tomato paste
1tablespoonhoney or granulated sugar*
1 1/2teaspoonskosher salt
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper
1/2cupminced fresh parsley
Add the olive oil to a large pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion, bell pepper, and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent and the pepper is tender, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for one more minute.
Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, honey or sugar, salt, and pepper. If you're using whole tomatoes, break up the tomatoes with a spoon. To save time, I like to give the tomatoes a quick spin in the blender to break them down a bit, then add them to the pot.
Continuing to cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat, until it comes to a boil. Turn the heat to low, partially cover, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add the parsley, then remove from the heat.
Serve over pasta, in lasagna, or use it as a dipping sauce. I like to make double (or triple!) batches and freeze it in freezer bags.