I have made this recipe twice. The first time as a marinara using 2 cans of crushed tomatoes. I did not use (because I did not have) paste, however, the tomatoes were not watery so the paste wasn't missed as the sauce was nice and thick without it. I did take the advice of other reviews and added 1 tbsp of brown sugar to cut the bitterness (remember to always taste your tomatoes before adding sugar as sometimes you they are already sweet enough and unless you like a sweet sauce the sugar can make it too much so - also brown sugar does work better than white) and added 1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes. This was a very tasty sauce. The second time I decided to try this recipe as a meat sauce. I used 4 cans of tomato (2 crushed / 2 puree) and this time I did use paste. I used 1.25 lbs of 80% fat chop meat and browned that right in the pot - because of this, I only sauteed the onion and garlic (4 large cloves as we love garlic) in 2 tbsp of Olive Oil. Once these were sauteed to translucent, I added the chop meat which extracted more (and flavor)and satueed this for a bit before adding my paste. Once that was all incorporated I added the tomatoes, and in place of wine (not having it on hand) the 1c (don't forget I am using 4 cans of tomato)of chicken broth (as suggested by another reviewer). I put this over low heat and after it warmed I added the dry ingredients. This is a flavorful and hearty thick sauce. Great for the lasagna and the jumbo stuffed shells I will be using it for.
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I have made this recipe twice. The first time as a marinara using 2 cans of crushed tomatoes....