SooN COOKING Shortcuts
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New to SooN Cooking?
No problem! Some quick background on the concept: I love to cook and realized that I often had to adjust my meal plan to
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Other Critical Information
This recipe can serve 8-10. It’s my classic SERVE or RESERVE scenario. It is a staple in my home and I easily have 3-4 frozen portions in my freezer at any given time. I’ll serve it with literally any
- Stock Pot [or Instant Pot for SooN COOKING Express]
- Cuisinart Food Processor [or immersion blender for SooN COOKING Express]
- Wooden spatula
- Chef’s knife
- Cutting board
- Tasting spoons [from your flatware set, these are mine]
- Cole & Mason Salt and Pepper Grinder Set
-  28oz cans San Marzano peeled tomatoes*
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb sweet or hot Italian sausage [ground only if they have it]
- 1/2-1 head of fresh garlic minced
- 1 medium white onion chopped [~1 cup]
- Italian Herb Mix: either 2 sprigs each fresh oregano, thyme
androsemary or 2 TBS of either dried Italian herb blend * or Italian Herbs stir-in paste
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1 TBS Kosher salt
- 1 tsp pepper [~10 turns on the grinder]
- Optional for depth: 1 cup red cooking wine [I use Charles Shaw]
- Optional for spice: red pepper flake
- Optional for garnish: 2 TBS chopped Italian parsley
*for example only —
SooN COOKING as a Photo Essay
Prep the garlic and onion
Saute the garlic and onion
brown garlic first
add onion and herbs
Add the meat and distribute evenly.
add sausage, mix evenly
add ground beef and mix evenly
add the can of crushed tomatoes and mix in evenly
add the wine and the can of diced tomatoes and simmer for ~30 minutes
sauce will have a rich red color when complete
Decision Time! Will you SERVE or RESERVE?
Serve with Pasta
Use as a filling in lasagna
Choose your SooN ADVENTURE™
SooN COOKING Original
- Prep the garlic, onion and Italian herb mix using the
Cuisinartor the chef’s knife and cutting board.
- Using high heat, add the garlic, herbs and olive oil to the pot and sauté 2 minutes or until
slightlybrowned stirring with the wooden spoon.
- Add the chopped onions and sauté for about 3 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and cook until you are able to break up the cooked meat into small pieces − about 3 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes to the cusinart and blend until smooth. Then add the sausage and mix in evenly. [I find this a necessary step for breaking up the meat. When I have skipped it, the meat comes out too chunky and not evenly distributed in the sauce.]
- Turn the heat to medium-low, stir in the remaining ingredients and cover.
- Cook for 60 minutes.
- Use a tasting spoon to test the sauce against your preferences.
- If needed, add more salt/pepper/optional red pepper flake and continue to cook for 2 minutes.
- Once the sauce is tasting to your personal preference, turn off the heat.
This whole process should have taken about 90 minutes.
SooN COOKING Express
- Add the tomatoes, beef, sausage, and 1/2 the garlic to the Instant Pot. No need to fuss — just throw them in whole along with the herbs, salt and pepper.
- Secure your Instant Pot lid. [Don’t forget the rubber seal!]
- Cook on manual high pressure for 20 minutes − it will take about 15 minutes to reach pressure. [If serving with pasta, I typically put the pot of water on to boil right now.]
- Prep the remaining garlic and onion using the
Cuisinartor the chef’s knife and cutting board. [To save even more time you could buy everything prechopped/prepped.]
- Grab a sauté pan and heat on high. Sauté the garlic and onions in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Finish by adding the wine* and stir for 2-3 minutes. The onions should have a nice carmelized color. Set aside.
- When the Instant Pot is finished, you can use either release option. Remove lid.
- If you used fresh herbs, remove the herb stems. Grab the immersion blender and blend until sauce is smooth.
- Use a tasting spoon to test the sauce against your preferences. If needed, add more salt/pepper/optional red pepper flake and cook for 2 minutes using the sauté feature.
- Once the sauce is tasting to your personal preference, add the onions, mix and serve.
This whole process should take less than an hour.
*Wine: Alcohol and the Instant Pot do not mix as the pressure and cooking process won’t make it possible for the alcohol to burn off.
SooN COOKING VEGETARIAN
Substitute package of Beyond Beef plant based ground and a package of Beyond Sausage hot or sweet Italian. Now follow the steps in either The SooN COOKING ORIGINAL or The SooN COOKING EXPRESS recipes.
Not familiar with a Vegetarian diet? Learn more here.
SooN COOKING KOSHER
The SooN COOKING Vegetarian recipe is a solid substitute if you want to serve this sauce with any parmesan or other dairy products [as it is forbidden to mix meat with dairy in the Kosher diet].
If you want to move forward with meat as the protein — make sure to use Kosher certified products when serving this dish to someone who keeps Kosher. Most sausage is made with pork which is not Kosher. You could either use chicken sausage or additional ground beef in its place. Once you make this change, both The SooN COOKING ORIGINAL or The SooN COOKING EXPRESS will be Kosher.
Not familiar with a Kosher diet? Learn more here.
SooN COOKING HALAL
Make sure to use Halal certified products when serving this dish to someone who follows a Halal diet. As a reminder, pork
Not familiar with a Halal diet? Learn more here.
SooN COOKING Celiac
Both the SooN COOKING ORIGINAL and the SooN COOKING EXPRESS are celiac.
You would need to pair with gluten-free pasta, gnocchi or creamy parmesan polenta when serving to someone with Celiac.
Not familiar with a Celiac diet? Learn more here.
SooN COOKING for One
Make the following
- (1) 28oz can San Marzano tomatoes*
- 1/4 lb ground beef
- 1/4 lb ground Italian sausage
- 1/4 medium white onion chopped (~1/4 cup)
- 1 TBS garlic cloves minced (~4-6 cloves cut fresh or use the equivalent in frozen or fresh
- 1/4 cup red cooking wine (I use Charles Shaw)
- Italian Herb Mix: either 1 sprig each fresh oregano, thyme
androsemary or 1 tsp of either dried Italian herb blend* or Italian Herbs stir-in paste
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt (~5 turns on the grinder)
- 1/2 tsp pepper (~5 turns on the grinder)
- Optional for spice: red pepper flake
- Optional for garnish: 1 tsp chopped Italian parsley
*for example only —
SooN COOKING for Kids
Pasta is generally the #1 meal request from my children. They would eat it for breakfast, lunch
Some of their friends have not liked my meat sauce and in this
Behind the Scenes
the SooN COOKING origin story
Dear SooN Cooks of the Internet,
Like most American homes with children in it — pasta was in the regular dinner rotation in my childhood home. It wasn’t until I had a friend over for dinner whose Grandparents immigrated from Italy [both sides!] that I learned we were doing it all wrong in my family.
The discovery went a little something like this:
[After seeing the box of spaghetti and jar of Prego on the kitchen counter.]
Me: We are having PASTA for dinner!!! Do you want to join us?
Friend: Yes, I love pasta! But what’s this? [Holding up the Prego]
Me: It’s the sauce.
Friend: From a jar?
Me: What does your pasta sauce come it?
Friend: My mom makes it. I’ve never had pasta sauce from a jar — is it good?
Me: This one’s my favorite!
It probably won’t come as a shock to learn she wasn’t a big fan of the Prego. She was polite and never said that outright — but you could tell by how she pushed her food around and kept saying, “I’ve never had sauce from a jar before.”
Now that I know how to make my own sauce, I understand my childhood friend’s perspective.
I started making my own pasta sauce in Italy after watching some Italians do it from scratch. It seemed simple enough and I tested a few different methods while I lived in Rome. It’s over ten years later and I have landed on this winning combination.
I’d love to know what you think [or
Happy SooN COOKING,
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