This spaghetti sauce is one of my “mother sauces.” I use it for several different recipes. The great thing about it is that I can make a lot of it at one time, and it only takes 1 hour from start to finish. I then can freeze it, and use it whenever the need arises. It works great in the Baked Penne!
Spaghetti Sauce (This is a double recipe!) (Adapted from the American Italian Pasta Company):
1.5 tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes (my favorite brand to use is Hunts)
1.25 cups of water
2 tsp. sugar (or a quarter cup of carrots)
1.5 tsp. salt
.25 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
¼ cup of fresh oregano, chopped
½ cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden (about 8-10 minutes). Stir in tomatoes and water. Add in and stir salt, sugar, and pepper. Add in and stir all of the fresh herbs. Turn up heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes. Wait until completely cooled before placing in Ziploc bags to freeze.
Baked Penne (Adapted from Ellie Krieger)
Four Cheese Baked Penne: Serves 6-8
1 pound whole-wheat penne (not sure how many yellow containers this is)
1 1/2 cups small-curd low-fat cottage cheese (2 red)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (1.5 red)
1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (5 blue, includes topping)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan (3/4 blue)
Spaghetti sauce recipe (2.5 green)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain. Add Tomato sauce recipe and pasta to the cheese mixture and stir until well incorporated.
Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then transfer pasta mixture to pan. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan (you don’t have to top it with this much cheese if you don’t want to). Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes.