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Brian's Wine-Free Mushroom Tomato Sauce


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  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 1 whole head garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 4 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, chopped, or 2 28-ounce cans Italian plum tomatoes, chopped, or diced tomatoes, with their juice
  • 1 6-ounce can good-quality tomato paste
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 small dried red hot pepper
  • 2 cups sliced button, crimini or other mushrooms
  • 12-16 ounces of commercial crumbles or ground seitan beef (optional)


Servings 2


Step 1

In a large heavy pot, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and green pepper, and saute for several minutes, until the onion starts to soften (don't brown the garlic). Add all of the remaining ingredients except the mushrooms. bring to a boil, then turn down, cover, and simmer for 4 to 6 hours, stirring every half hour or so. During the last half hour, remove the lid, add the mushrooms and meat replacement, and simmer uncovered until serving time. Serve over any type of hot pasta, polenta, or even gnocchi.

Note: To cook in a slow-cooker, omit the water and saute the mushrooms along with the onions, etc. Place these in a large slow-cooker, and add the rest of the ingredients. If you are adding hamburger replacement, add it along with the tomatoes. Cook on high for 1 hour, then on low for 10 to 12 hours.


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