Shhh, I'm about to share a secret with you.
First, let me start by reminding you that I have not always been a fan of vegetables. I recently blogged about it here.
Second, I have started in on pasta. October was soups. Now it's pasta.
I have tried making my own red sauces for awhile now. I'll admit, jar sauce has always been better.
I discovered the secret.
It has to do with a particular vegetable that I still don't like.
Many of the sauce recipes I have, start with the basics; an onion, a carrot and celery. In the past I have omitted the celery because I do not like it.
This week, two of my recipes called for celery and I decided I may as well buy it to use in both sauces. (That is part of the reason why I haven't bought it in the past, because it wouldn't get eaten and would be wasted.)
I made the first sauce yesterday. It was a marinara.
I took a little taste of it before adding it to the lasagna.
I'm not sure what I expected, but when I tasted it, I was impressed. It tasted good! No, it was better than good. It definitely ranks with some of the best marinara I've ever had.
That's when I realized it, the celery must be the secret. It's the key. Whatever taste those pale green stalks have is what gives sauce the depth that my previous attempts had lacked.
I made a meaty sauce tonight. I added the celery and sure enough, this sauce is also good. Better than anything I have ever made (except for the marinara that I made yesterday).
I wouldn't put my sauce up against someone from Italy, but I do think it can hold it's own in this house.