Herbed tomato spaghetti sauce

Yield: 1 batch

Measure Ingredient
2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 medium Red onion; chopped
1 medium Bell pepper; chopped
2 \N Or 3 garlic cloves; minced
3 mediums Carrots; chopped
½ pounds Mushrooms; coarsely chopped
8 cups Chopped fresh seeded tomatoes or-
28 ounces Canned tomatoes
1 teaspoon Aniseed; crushed
1 \N Bay leaf; broken
¼ cup Dry red wine
¼ cup Fresh oregano; chopped
¼ cup Fresh basil; chopped
¼ cup Italian parsley; chopped
2 tablespoons Lemon balm; chopped

Saute onion, bell pepper, garlic and carrots in olive oil in a 4-qt.

saucepan until vegetables are tender (about 10 minutes). Add mushrooms and continue cooking 2 or 3 minutes more.

Add tomatoes, bay leaf, aniseed and wine. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (about 1 to 1½ hours).

Add oregano, basil, parsley and lemon balm; stir and simmer 15 to 20 minutes longer to let flavors mingle.

Cathy's note: The recipe says nothing about removing the bay leaf afterward, but this is standard practice so that any sharp edges on it do not cause discomfort or physical damage to people.

The editors wrote: "Selecting a basic herb-tomato sauce from the many, many dozens that were submitted was [a]...chore. This one edged out many other...entries for its simplicity, fresh approach, and the short cooking time after the leafy herbs were added. While many excellent cooks take the 'less is more' approach and add only fractions of teaspoons of herbs, we liked the more assertive style here and the surprising and intriguing addition of lemon balm (which cooks out to a mellow hint of not-quite-lemon). This sauce depends on a greater-than-usual amount of chopped carrot to cut the acidity of fresh tomatoes."

Recipe from Deborah Sallings of Little Rock, AR in "Great Spaghetti Sauce Cookoff" article in "The Herb Companion." Dec. 1992/Jan.

1993, Vol. 5, No. 2. Pg. 77. Posted by Cathy Harned.

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