We’re all settled in Norway! It’s been a whirlwind so far and I still can’t believe we got this opportunity. One thing I was warned about that turned out to be true: Norway is expensive! There is 25% sales tax on quite a few things that are considered “entertainment” here, particularly restaurants. We like to treat ourselves sometimes and go out for dinner and drinks, but on most weeknights I’ve been cooking and we stay in. The groceries aren’t a ton cheaper (Kraft mac and cheese is $6 USD a box here!) but we’ve learned to stock up on some staples and eat for a few days off one grocery trip.
I’ve had to get back to the basics. Spices are expensive here (and usually in another language that I have to Google before shopping) so we stick to a few simple recipes that don’t require too many ingredients. One recipe I’ve been glad to have in my brain is for tomato sauce. You can make it as basic or as complicated as you want it to be, but the basic version requires very few ingredients and you can use it for so many things besides pasta! I’m sharing my basic tomato sauce recipe and then a few ideas for jazzing it up if you have access to a grocery store that doesn’t charge you your first born for certain types of cheese.
Simple Tomato Sauce Recipe:
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves minced garlic
2 Tablespoons minced basil – about 3 large leaves
1/2 yellow onion – diced
28 oz. diced tomatoes
1 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 Tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt & Pepper to your liking
Start with sauteing the onion and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat.
Add in your chopped tomatoes and spices and simmer on low for 10 minutes. Add in your fresh basil and continue to simmer until the sauce has thickened a bit.
I usually let mine go for 30 minutes to a full hour. Once it’s cooked through, I use an immersion blender to get rid of most of the big chunks, but that’s completely optional!
Add 1/4 cup red wine and 2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce for a rich flavor.
Add 1/4 cup each of parmesan, ricotta and mozzarella for a 3-cheese tomato sauce.
Blend it smooth and add 1/2 cup of cream for a creamy tomato sauce.
Toss in goat cheese, mushrooms and spinach for some extra veggies in your life.
A few of my favorite things to make with tomato sauce:
What is your go-to when you’re jazzing up your tomato sauce?