Creamy Tomato Sauce

Creamy Tomato Sauce by Bakewell Junction

Creamy Tomato Sauce by Bakewell Junction

Whew.  It’s been a busy few weeks.  We had a huge deadline at work and with the Easter holiday, it’s been a whirlwind.  I had family over for Palm Sunday and we had a few favorites.  One of them is this Creamy Tomato Sauce over ravioli.  Now, the ravioli I like to use is store bought and frozen (I know, don’t judge) but the highlight is this sauce.  It is delicious.  I bet you’ll have a difficult time trying to stop yourself from licking the plate after the ravioli are gone.  Just be sure to have a few loaves of crusty Italian bread to mop up any remaining sauce on the plate.

Enjoy.

Creamy Tomato Sauce

Yield:  4 – 6 servings                Cook Time:  45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 28 ounce can of your favorite crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup heavy cream (I use heavy whipping cream)
  • 2 tablespoons shredded fresh basil or 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram, optional (I omit this)
  • Salt and black pepper to taste (I omit the pepper)

Directions:

Step 1:  Combine tomatoes, oregano, basil, garlic, salt and black pepper in a large sauce pan or a stock pot.  Cook on low and bring the tomato mixture to a simmer.  Simmer 30 minutes.

Step 2:  Add cream and stir until combined.  Meanwhile begin cooking a pound of your favorite pasta according to the package directions in a different pot. Back to the sauce – simmer until thickened while stirring occasionally.  You will see the mixture thickening after 10 to 15 minutes.

Step 3:  Server immediately over your favorite pasta.

Tips:  This recipe is best the first day.  It’s good as leftovers too but it won’t be as creamy and will begin becoming more like a regular pasta sauce.

Enjoy!!!

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Meatless Gravy (Marinara Sauce)

Some more preparation for the family get-together for my Mom’s and Niece’s birthday and their favorite entrees.  You’ve seen the crepe recipe but you can’t have Manicotti without gravy.  This particular gravy recipe is meatless and is also referred to as marinara.

As I’ve mentioned before it takes a few steps to prepare the Manicotti, so I’m making the gravy a few days in advance too.  The gravy can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer (depending on the length of storage time needed) and there is no change in texture or flavor.  This gravy recipe can also be used with any pasta you like or any recipe that calls for a tomato gravy.

Enjoy.

Meatless Gravy (Marinara Sauce)

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped (try using a Vidalia onion when in season for a nice flavor; need to use more though)
  • 1 – 2 stalks celery hearts, finely chopped (add a few chopped celery leaves for additional flavor)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or more to taste
  • 2 cans 28 ounce your favorite crushed tomatoes (the cans can have added tomato puree and basil too)
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup water
  • 1 – 2  tablespoons dry basil to taste
  • 1 – 2  tablespoons dry flat leaf parsley to taste

Directions:

Step 1:  Add the onion and celery to a large stock pot and sprinkle with salt.  Cover pot and heat on medium for 15 to 20 minutes until the water that has sweated out from the onions and celery has started to dry up and they’ve softened.  Stir the mixture frequently with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking.

Step 2:  Add the crushed tomatoes to the stock pot and scrape as much of the tomatoes out of the can as possible.  Add the water to one of the empty cans and swirl it around the sides to ensure all the tomatoes are incorporated into the water.  Pour the water into the second can and repeat; then pour the water into the stock pot.  Add the basil and parsley and stir until well combined.

Step 3:  To store the Guacamole, cover with plastic wrap and ensure that the plastic wrap is placed directly on the mixture and that there are no or few air gaps; then chill in the refrigerator.  Fresh Guacamole doesn’t keep well, so it should be made only about an hour before it is served.

Step 4:  Let the mixture come to a simmer.  Lower the heat to low to medium-low and cover.  Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour while stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon to prevent sticking.

To store the gravy:  Once completely cooled, this can be stored in containers in the refrigerator for three or four days.  If storing in the freezer, be sure to use freezer safe containers and leave enough space for expansion.

This gravy is very versatile and you can add different flavors.  If you like spiciness you can add some crushed red pepper.  Some like to add some sugar or wine instead of water.  My husband’s family adds a can of tomato paste, so find what works for you.  Also, if you’re cooking for a large number of people, you can easily double the recipe.

Enjoy!!!

My family recipe.