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The Mother Sauce

I’m a busy mom. And let’s face it. I think in the dictionary, the word “busy” has the word “mom” in its definition. Our schedules have us going here and there and everywhere, and we have to prioritize whether to get a healthy meal on the table or get little Dave to his second soccer practice of the week. I feel like I’m constantly playing a tug-of-war game between “healthy” and “convenience,” with “convenience” often winning the game in the form of chicken nuggets. That’s when I discovered my own version of “The Mother Sauce.”

Now, I’m not a trained chef, but I’ve watched my fair share of “Top Chef.” There are several sauces that are called “mother sauces.” But I’m here to share with you the “Mom’s Mother Sauce.” I actually found the basis of this tomato sauce on the back of a package of lasagna noodles. It called for dried herbs and less onions and garlic, but I tweaked it and made it my own. My favorite part? I can quadruple the recipe and freeze it in family portions, AND it only takes 1 hour from start to finish to make. When I’m in a pinch for time for dinner, I simply pull a bag out from my freezer, defrost it, and it’s ready to go in any way that I want to use it. I usually can get 6 recipes out of one hour of cooking.

Not only is it easy to make, it’s also easy to use in several different recipes. You don’t have to have spaghetti with it! It works with vegetables, pasta bakes, pizza, and stuff shells. You can also hide vegetables in it, and your kids will never know (at least mine don’t). No longer do I have to sacrifice healthy for convenience! And neither do you! Here is the recipe for “Mom’s Mother Sauce” and two recipes in how to incorporate it into your busy life. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have!

The Mother Sauce
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444 calories
63 g
0 g
22 g
9 g
3 g
1046 g
4283 g
28 g
0 g
18 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
1046g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444
Calories from Fat 196
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 22g
34%
Saturated Fat 3g
17%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 15g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 4283mg
178%
Total Carbohydrates 63g
21%
Dietary Fiber 18g
73%
Sugars 28g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
76%
Vitamin C
170%
Calcium
62%
Iron
86%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 tbsp. olive oil
  2. 1 large onion, chopped
  3. 4 garlic cloves, minced
  4. 2 cans (28 oz each) crushed tomatoes (my favorite brand to use is Hunts)
  5. 1.25 cups of water
  6. 2 tsp. sugar (or a quarter cup of carrots)
  7. 1.5 tsp. salt
  8. .25 tsp. of freshly ground pepper
  9. ¼ cup of fresh basil, chopped
  10. ¼ cup of fresh oregano, chopped
  11. ½ cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Instructions
  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-low heat.
  2. Add onion and garlic and sauté until golden (about 8-10 minutes).
  3. Stir in tomatoes and water.
  4. Add in and stir salt, sugar, and pepper.
  5. Add in and stir all of the fresh herbs.
  6. Turn up heat and bring to a boil.
  7. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring every 3-5 minutes.
  8. Wait until completely cooled before placing in Ziploc bags to freeze.
Notes
  1. This is a double recipe. I use two large pots and make this recipe in each pot.
Adapted from The American Italian Pasta Company
beta
calories
444
fat
22g
protein
9g
carbs
63g
more
Adapted from The American Italian Pasta Company
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Baked Penne
Serves 6
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455 calories
61 g
34 g
10 g
29 g
6 g
201 g
493 g
4 g
0 g
4 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
201g
Servings
6
Amount Per Serving
Calories 455
Calories from Fat 87
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 10g
15%
Saturated Fat 6g
28%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 3g
Cholesterol 34mg
11%
Sodium 493mg
21%
Total Carbohydrates 61g
20%
Dietary Fiber 2g
10%
Sugars 4g
Protein 29g
Vitamin A
7%
Vitamin C
0%
Calcium
39%
Iron
7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound whole-wheat penne
  2. 1 1/2 cups small-curd low-fat cottage cheese
  3. 1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  4. 1 1/4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  5. Cooking spray
  6. 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  7. The Mother Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Combine the cottage cheese, ricotta cheese, 1/2 cup mozzarella and stir with a fork to incorporate and set aside.
  3. Cook pasta until tender but still firm, a minute or 2 less than the package directs. Drain.
  4. Add The Mother Sauce recipe and pasta to the cheese mixture and stir until well incorporated.
  5. Spray a 9 by 13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray then transfer pasta mixture to pan.
  6. Top with remaining 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan (you don’t have to top it with this much cheese if you don’t want to).
  7. Bake until heated through and cheese is melted, 30 minutes.
Adapted from Ellie Krieger
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calories
455
fat
10g
protein
29g
carbs
61g
more
Adapted from Ellie Krieger
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
Chicken Parmesan
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2174 calories
4 g
740 g
136 g
223 g
47 g
844 g
1606 g
1 g
1 g
77 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
844g
Amount Per Serving
Calories 2174
Calories from Fat 1210
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 136g
209%
Saturated Fat 47g
236%
Trans Fat 1g
Polyunsaturated Fat 17g
Monounsaturated Fat 60g
Cholesterol 740mg
247%
Sodium 1606mg
67%
Total Carbohydrates 4g
1%
Dietary Fiber 1g
3%
Sugars 1g
Protein 223g
Vitamin A
38%
Vitamin C
5%
Calcium
78%
Iron
53%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary leaves
  3. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  4. 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  5. Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  6. Eight 3-ounce chicken cutlets
  7. 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  8. 16 teaspoons grated Parmesan
  9. 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  10. The Mother Sauce
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Stir the oil and herbs in a small bowl to blend. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush both sides of the cutlets with the herb oil.
  4. Heat a large heavy oven-proof skillet over high heat.
  5. Add the cutlets and cook just until brown, about 2 minutes per side.
  6. Remove the skillet from the heat.
  7. Spoon the marinara sauce over and around the cutlets.
  8. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of the mozzarella over each cutlet, then sprinkle 2 teaspoons of the Parmesan over each.
  9. Sprinkle the butter pieces atop the cutlets.
  10. Bake until the cheese melts and the chicken is cooked through, about 3 to 5 minutes.
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
beta
calories
2174
fat
136g
protein
223g
carbs
4g
more
Adapted from Giada De Laurentiis
Dayton Moms Blog http://www.citymomsblog.com/
 

 

 

2 Responses to The Mother Sauce

  1. suzannehines July 1, 2017 at 8:36 pm #

    I love this idea! It wouldn’t be too hard to make a big pot of it and freeze some ahead of time, too!

  2. Sarah Manaresi July 1, 2017 at 8:57 pm #

    I do that ALL OF THE TIME! Literally, I make 4x the recipe at once, let it cool to room temperature, and put in freezer quart bags and freeze. It’s so easy and keeps for a long time!