I take no objection to jarred marinara or tomato sauces. I’m not perfect. I have my flaws. I admit it: I was the queen of Ralph’s jarred spaghetti sauces in college. Ever since graduating college, though, I have not touched jarred spaghetti sauces. Talk about fatigue. Now I can’t walk down the jarred pasta sauce aisle without wanting to scream!
You think I’m kidding. Let’s be serious here — I don’t want that to happen to you. Don’t eat too much jarred pasta sauce in college to the point where you never want to touch it again. However, if you must, please know that the workaround to “pasta sauce fatigue” is kicking your tomato sauce up a notch.
You can oomph up your jarred sauces by adding vegetables(like onions, carrots, peas, and corn), white wine, and dried spices(like oregano, thyme, parsley, and basil). Don’t feel limited by what the pasta sauce aisle offers you.
Here’s a recipe using canned crushed tomatoes and canned whole peeled tomatoes. Besides tomato paste, these are the only go-to canned tomato products you ever need. For a totally smooth sauce, you can use only crushed tomatoes. For some body and texture, try breaking up whole peeled tomatoes with your hands and adding them to the sauce. As for the white wine you decide to use in this sauce, I couldn’t care less if you chose Two Buck Chuck or a bottle of Champagne. This is a simple sauce that’ll make your pasta nights interesting. Serve this sauce over pasta, over baked chicken, alongside meatballs, or even over eggplant parmesan.
Here’s what you need for this simple tomato white wine sauce:
2 cans (28 ounces each) of tomatoes (crushed tomatoes and whole peeled tomatoes), onions, garlic, olive oil, white wine, fresh parsley, fresh basil, and dried herbs (i.e., oregano, thyme).
Chop those oignons (<—this is definitely my favorite French word).
And l’ail (the garlic)
Add some olive oil to a hot pot.
And add the onions and garlic. We’re going for tasty here, so I’ll politely ask you to add some crushed red chili flakes. If you hate spicy, do what you will. It’s really not spicy at all.
Stir the ingredients occasionally. We want them cooked and softened!
Now to les tomates. Here’s a can of what whole peeled tomatoes in tomato juice looks like.
They’re obviously too large to throw in a sauce, so we’re going to break up the tomatoes with our hands. It’s kind of fun.
Now add maybe a 1/2 cup of white wine to the pot. That really looks like a lot more than half a cup…but let’s just say it is a 1/2 cup and call it a day.
Now add a can of crushed tomatoes and the tomatoes that you broke up with your hands.
Add a lot of dried herbs. We got oregano and thyme going on here.
Now add sugar. Sugar, you ask? It’s to balance the acidity of the tomatoes. Have you ever tried canned tomatoes? It’s like an acidic punch in your face. Add the sugar to soften the flavors.
Now add some salt. Sugar and salt, you ask? You think I’m crazy, but just bear with me.
Now add freshly ground black pepper, pretty please.
Cover the pot with the lid and let it chill for a little bit.
Here’s what the sauce actually looks like. The texture is chunky and bold. It’s not your usual sauce. If you want a really smooth sauce, then omit the whole peeled tomatoes. Or, if you have a hand blender, go ahead and blend your sauce for a finer consistency.
So…I’m just gonna go ahead and add some baked turkey meatballs. I hope you don’t mind.
Let the sauce simmer with the meatballs until everything is heated up nicely.
Now chop up a ton of fresh basil and Italian parsley.
Dump it in the pot of sauce. How colorful!
Oh, fudge. I forgot to make some pasta earlier. Okay, so I’m gonna throw some whole wheat pasta noodles in a pot of boiling water.
They look al dente. I’m just gonna go drain the noodles and dump them back into the pot they were just in.
Then ladle some of that pretty sauce over the top. Don’t forget them meatballs!
Simple Tomato White Wine Sauce
Total time: 25 minutes
Prep: 2 min
Cook: 23 min
Yield: 1.5 quarts (6 cups)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup chopped yellow or white onion(about 1 small onion)
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed red chili flakes
½ cup white wine (recommended: Chardonnay)
1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes in tomato juice or puree
1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes in tomato puree
1 tablespoon white sugar
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon table salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/3 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions, garlic, and crushed red chili flakes. Cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
Pour whole peeled tomatoes in a large bowl. Squeeze tomatoes with hands, breaking and tearing the tomatoes up into small pieces.
To the pot, add white wine, crushed tomatoes, and tomatoes that have been broken up. Add sugar, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Adjust seasoning to your preference. Increase heat to high just until sauce begins to lightly boil, and then turn heat to low. Simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add chopped fresh basil and parsley into sauce immediately before serving with cooked pasta.