Ava Grace's Closet: Things my M.I.L. Taught Me
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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Things my M.I.L. Taught Me

My mother-in-law runs a lovely gourmet food shop in the city. It is also a pastificio. Somewhat rare these days.
She is an unbelievable cook and makes everything look so easy. I have been blessed to have had her pass along some of her teachings to little old I can't cook to save my life me.
I'm not so bad at following a recipe but, I really wanted to have a few go-to meals that were quick and simple to prepare for a regular weeknight dinner.
This definitely fits the bill.

Rita's Sugo (red sauce)
Good olive oil (3-4 tbsp)
3 whole garlic cloves
1 can (475 ml) of Italian chopped tomatoes
Fresh basil
Salt to taste
In a saucepan on low-medium heat, warm olive oil and add garlic cloves. Brown slightly.
Add chopped tomatoes, {I cannot stress the importance of using the BEST QUALITY Italian tomatoes you can find:: price should dictate} 2-3 leaves of fresh basil and salt to taste.
 Simmer uncovered for 30 minutes.
Note: if you prefer a "smooth" sauce, at this point you can remove garlic and use a hand blender to puree.
Boil a good quality Italian pasta as directed to ensure it is cooked al dente.
Combine and sprinkle with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese before serving.
Also note: although this recipe looks, and is, quite easy to prepare - it may take you a few tries to get it just so. But once you do, it is the basis for many other amazing dishes...
you will never want jarred sauce again. 
I promise.
Buon Appetito!


  1. yummmmm! I really wanted to be the cook of our family...I can cook & follow recipes...I make mean chick food ( sandwiches, salads, soups ) I am just so much better at baking w/out a recipe...my husband is a really good cook, like can make stuff up good...so jealous ;) Thanks for sharing!

  2. I have always wanted to attempt to make my own red sauce. I usually doctor up jar sauce but this really looks simple and I think I might have to try it one day. thanks for sharing:)

  3. Ooooh, I wanna try this stat!!! I love that you made sure to put "GOOD Olive oil" as well. ;0)

  4. This is great!! The Mr. is Italian and always cooking up a storm.. Pasta and veal his signature meal. I'm definitely going to give this a try!! Thanks for sharing...xo HHL


    Falling Off A High Heeled Life

  5. seems quick and simple! thanks for sharing!! :)


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