Recipe Day: AB’s Red Sauce

Because Josh asked and because red wine is key when cooking with tomatoes, I bring to you the worlds fastest and most flexible red sauce, as created by Alton Brown, modified by me. Let’s get to cookin’!

The Goods

  • 2 carrots
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 medium sized yellow onion
  • 2 cans (24oz) whole tomatoes (the largest can at the super market)
  • Red Wine
  • Basalmic Vinegar (optional)
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • pepper
  • Garlic
  • Dried Oregano

(all spices to taste. That’s how I do it. Don’t be afraid to measure with your hands!)

The hardware

  • Roasting Pan
  • Sauce pot – small
  • Sauce Pot – not small

The Steps

Dice the veggies to about 1/4″. Turn on the broiler for your oven.

Drain the tomatoes. Save the juice. You are gonna need it. Once drained, it’s a good idea to seed the tomatoes too. Those little dudes get pretty bitter.

Into the roasting pan go the veggies and the tomatoes. Put the pan right up under the heat and get some color going. About every 5 minutes give the pan a shake/stir. We aren’t going for burned or even a good char here, just some nice color and a little cooking. Figure this step to take about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in your small sauce pot put the spices, garlic and saved tomato juice. Get that going on a rockin’ boil until it is reduced enough so that you get gooey, lava like, bubbles.

When your veggies are done, bring the roasting pan up to the stove and turn on the heat. 1 burner is fine set to about medium. Deglaze the pan with about a cup or so of your red wine. Really scrape the bottom and make sure the wine gets everywhere. Add this mess to your big sauce pot.

When the reduction is the proper consistency, add 1 tbls of basalmic vinegar if you like. The extra acid, flavor and color really add to the sauce. Then, add this to your large sauce pot with the veggies.

Mix well.

Now, here is where it gets flexible. With your stick blender (or regular blender if you don’t have a stick) start blending this until it is the consistency you like. Do be careful as it will be nuclear hot.

Keeps in the fridge for about a week.

Possible uses

Keep it thick and pour over chicken breasts or Italian Sausage. Cook in the oven for about an hour. 350 degrees please.

Keep it medium thick and add some hamburger and/or sausage for a nice marinara.

Make it smooth to use with Pasta or as pizza sauce.

Published by Don

Lead bottle washer at, host at and tech guru for the MotoringFile family of sites.

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