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Trio of Pasta Sauces: Marinara, Bolognese, and Parma Rosa

With one hour's work you can make three sauces for your fridge and freezer the whole family will love!

The ILOC motto is "It's all about technique, not torture." With three 28-ounce cans of crushed tomatoes - or one giant 105-ounce can with 3½ cups to spare - you can prepare three versatile pasts sauces, all of which begin with the same base. Tomatoes, garlic, onion, and olive oil can be transformed into a quick and easy marinara sauce. Begin with ground beef and toss in some diced carrots with a touch of cream, and you have the best Bolognese. The addition of pancetta, cream, and Parmesan results in a luscious pink sauce, perfect for Penne alla Vodka (or Penne Senza Vodka!). Give them all a try and do it in one cooking session . . . don't work harder, work smarter! Store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to one week or in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Essential equipment: cutting board; chef's knife; vegetable peeler; microplane; can opener; 3 large saucepans or stockpots (one with a tight-fitting lid); dry and wet measuring cups; measuring spoons; wooden spoons

Marinara Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, crushed and finely minced 1, medium yellow onion, finely diced 1 small carrot, finely grated (ideally on a microplane) 1, 28 oz. can (or 3½ cups) crushed Italian tomatoes 3 sprigs of fresh thyme 1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper


1. Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and swirl to coat. Add the onion and sauté until soft but not taking on any color, for about 3-5 minutes.


2. Add the garlic and grated carrot and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine. Stir in the thyme sprigs, salt, and pepper. Lower the heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes, stirring frequently.


3. Serve immediately or cool the sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.


Bolognese Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

1 medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 pound ground beef, such as sirloin or chuck (80-85% lean)

1 teaspoon kosher salt ½ cup red wine (optional)

2 carrots, peeled and finely diced (macédoine)

1, 28 oz. can (or 3½ cups) crushed Italian tomatoes 4 sprigs of fresh thyme

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup chopped parsley

kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste



1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the plan and then add the garlic and onion. Sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until soft without becoming brown. Add the beef and sprinkle with salt, breaking up the bits of meat while stirring constantly until the meat is cooked through.


2. Stir in the carrots and the optional wine. Add in the tomatoes and thyme sprigs, and stir well to incorporate. Bring to a simmer then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook covered over low heat for 15-20 minutes.


3. Remove the lid and continue to cook for 2-3 more minutes, stirring constantly, being sure to scrape the bottom of the pan.


4. Add the heavy cream and cook for 2-3 minutes more. Stir in the chopped parsley and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately or cool the sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer.



Parma Rosa Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed and finely chopped

½ medium yellow onion, finely diced

pinch of kosher salt

1/3 cup diced pancetta or chopped prosciutto

1, 28 oz. can (or 3½ cups) crushed Italian tomatoes

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

½ cup heavy cream

½ cup freshly grated Parmesan


1. Heat a large saucepan over medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Swirl to coat the plan and then add the garlic and onion. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the pancetta or prosciutto and cook for 2 minutes longer, stirring constantly.


2. Add the crushed tomatoes, and optional red pepper. Stir to incorporate the prosciutto and simmer over low heat for 8 minutes. Then stir in the cream and cook for 2 minutes longer.


3. If serving immediately with pasta, add the grated Parmesan and stir well to incorporate. If serving later, cool the sauce and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer. Add in the grated Parmesan once the sauce is warmed for service.



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