Originally Posted by CraigC
I think making a "mother sauce" and freezing it in meal size portions is the best route. Then add fresh ingredients when using it for a meal. Saute the fresh ingredients and add the sauce. Use a spice grinder to finely grind dry porcinis and you will get that "umami" hit to your dish.
Originally Posted by Steve Kroll
I think this is a good strategy. Freeze the base sauce and add whatever additional ingredients you want when you're turning it into a meal. This also gives you the flexibility to use your homemade sauce for things other than spaghetti.
This is very good advice and it will make your job in the kitchen much easier and more fun.
I like to make a very large pot (stock pot) full of marinara sauce.
I sweat onions, garlic, and fresh herbs until a bit soft. Garlic and herbs go in last as they can burn very easily.
I then add tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes in the sauted veggies and herbs. Then this is where I add my good drinking red wine and some sugar. I allow the wine to reduce to at least 1/2.
You will end up with a soffrito. The base for the marinara.
Many do not encourage the use of tomato paste. But it helps to give the sauce some body.
I then add a gallon size can of crushed or whole peeled (squeezed by hand or use a food processor) Italian tomato's along with enough water to create the right consistency. Check for seasoning! Salt in particular.
I simmer this for about an hour. Cool it down and my wife puts the sauce into small containers and puts them in our basement freezer.
This marinara is always available to make any dish I choose. In your case you could saute the mushrooms and herbs in olive oil and pour in some sauce and heat through for a perfect mushroom sauce.
If you use dried mushrooms, save the soaking water and add that too.
Good luck and welcome to the forum.