Vegetarian Spaghetti Sauce

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 to 5 large cloves garlic
1/2 small onion, minced
2 tablespoons dried, crushed basil
1 tablespoon dried, crushed marjoram
1 quart tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 small tomato paste can of a good rose or red wine
2 small tomato paste cans of water
1 pint whole tomatoes, slightly chopped up--juice included
3 fresh mushrooms, sliced - optional
1/2 fresh eggplant, diced - optional
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped sweet pepper - optional
1 tablespoon chopped hot pepper - optional
3 to 4 kalamata olives, seeded and chopped - optional

In a heavy, large sauce pot, heat the olive on medium high. Add the chopped onions and sauté until just translucent. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add any of the optional veggies at this point and sauté for about 5 minutes or until they begin to soften. Add the basil and marjoram. You can also add just a pinch of oregano. It is quite strong so you need barely 1/8 of a teaspoon Stir well and continue cooking until the herbs look wet. Add the chopped whole tomatoes.

Bring the sauce to a simmer and simmer for about 10 to 15 minutes or until the tomatoes seem thick. Add the tomato paste, the water and the wine. Stir to mix everything up well and continue simmering for about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomato sauce and season with garlic salt and black pepper to taste. Bring to a very low simmer and let cook for about 1 hour or more.

This is enough sauce for 4 very large eaters or 6 normal eaters. To make more sauce just increase the amount of tomato sauce by one pint for every 1-3 people.


Options: If you want some protein--and eat cheese and eggs--try the following: Gently crack an egg or two into the sauce about 3 minutes before serving. Let it cook to desired doneness--longer for hard-boiled and just a few minutes for soft boiled.

To serve, gently remove the egg with a slotted spoon. If you've done it right, the egg should be perfectly round, like a ball. Place it on top of the pasta. Remove the stem end for a medium to large eggplant. Make 4 slits from about 1-inch from the top to about 1-inch from the bottom and space them evenly around the eggplant. Do not cut all the way through. Mix together dried bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil and several cloves of garlic (minced) to a a dry paste. Add salt and black pepper to taste. Stuff the slits with the mixture, pushing in as much as you can . In a heavy skillet, lightly sauté the stuffed eggplant until just golden all around. Add it to the spaghetti sauce about 1/2 hour before serving. When serving, remove the eggplant from the sauce and slice into 1-inch thick slices, ladle a little sauce over all and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.



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