Thursday, December 26, 2013

Spaghetti Sauce

Hope everyone had a nice holiday.  We celebrate with my family on Christmas Eve and, for the first time ever, it was at my parent's house instead of ours.  Although I still cooked a lot of the food, it was nice to not have to worry about cleaning the house.  We had planned this change over a month ago and with the recent death in our family and our unfinished house projects, I was really glad it wasn't here!
Yummy snacks on Christmas Eve

Several years ago, we had pasta with your choice of marinara, Alfredo or pesto.  That was when we discovered that my niece, who usually wouldn't eat any of my food, loves my marinara sauce.  Funny enough, Kayleigh won't touch it!  This year my mom thought it would be easiest to have spaghetti so I brought the sauce, which we have now renamed "Lily's Spaghetti Sauce".  Kayleigh didn't eat it, as usual, but everyone else seemed to enjoy it.

On Christmas day, Bill and Kayleigh used to go to his mom's house.  I'd stay home and try to get our house back in some kind of order after our Christmas Eve celebrations.  This year, obviously, Bill and Kayleigh had no where to go so we all lounged around and had a very nerdy Christmas watching these all day:

It was so relaxing.  We then had fajitas for dinner - not very traditional!  Also, the three of us have very similar senses of humor so one person would make a joke and we would just keep it going.  At one point we were laughing so hard we could barely breath!  It seemed wrong since we are supposed to be mourning but I think it helped Bill keep his mind off what is coming later in the week.  Overall I would say it was a pretty good Christmas considering the circumstances.

Looks like they planned their outfits but they didn't!

Spaghetti Sauce

1 1/2 T olive oil
1/3 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 T tomato paste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes1 cup vegetable broth or water
1/4 cup pine nuts, coarsely chopped
3-4 sun dried tomatoes, chopped
5 pepperoncini, chopped
1 tsp pepper
1 T salt
1/4 cup brown sugar

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium heat.  Saute the onion until nice and caramelized  Add the garlic and cook two minutes.  Add the tomato paste, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper and cook for 2 more minutes.  Add the remaining ingredients.  Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until the sauce thickens.  Taste the sauce after about 10 minutes and add more salt and/or sugar if needed.

NOTE:  If you don't have pepperoncini on hand, add 3 T balsamic vinegar at the very end.