1 cup chopped onion (1 large)
1/2 cup chopped green sweet pepper
1/4 cup chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cooking oil
4 cups chopped, peeled tomato (6 large) or two 14.5-ounce cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1/3 cup water
2 tablespoons snipped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 tablespoon snipped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
2 teaspoons snipped fresh marjoram or 1/2 teaspoon dried marjoram, crushed
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 ounces dried spaghetti or linguine
Finely shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. In a Dutch oven cook onion, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic in hot oil until vegetables are tender.
2. Stir in the tomato, tomato paste, water, parsley, dried herbs (if using), sugar, salt, and black pepper. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Uncover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally. Stir in fresh herbs, if using.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
4. Spaghetti Sauce with Ground Beef or Sausage: Prepare as above, except omit the oil. In a large saucepan or Dutch oven cook 12 ounces ground beef or pork sausage with the onion, sweet pepper, celery, and garlic until meat is brown. Drain. Continue as directed in Step 2.
5. Spaghetti Sauce with Meatballs: Prepare sauce as above. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine 1 egg; 3/4 cup soft bread crumbs (1 slice); 1/4 cup finely chopped onion; 2 tablespoons finely chopped green sweet pepper; 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed; and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Add 12 ounces ground beef or bulk pork sausage; mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs. Arrange meatballs in a 15x10x1-inch baking pan. Bake in a 350 degrees F oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until done (160 degrees F). Drain. Serve with sauce and hot pasta.
6. Big-Batch Spaghetti Sauce: Prepare as above, except use a large Dutch oven and 2 cups chopped onion, 1 cup chopped sweet pepper, 1/2 cup chopped celery, 4 cloves garlic, 2 tablespoons cooking oil, 8 cups tomato or two 28-ounce cans diced tomatoes, one 6-ounce can tomato paste, 2/3 cup water, 1/4 cup fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried basil, 2 tablespoons fresh oregano or 2 teaspoons dried oregano, 1 tablespoon fresh marjoram or 1 teaspoon dried marjoram, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until desired consistency. Serve as directed.
To Freeze: Place sauce in freezer containers. Seal and freeze up to 3 months. To use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Transfer to saucepan and heat through.