:: YOU WILL NEVER EAT RAGU AGAIN ::
1 medium onion, chopped (I always use large)
2 cloves garlic, crushed (the bigger the better)
1 cup chopped parsley or flat-leaf Italian parsley (this ingredient is key)
5 mushrooms, finely chopped (or the entire little blue crate you get from the store)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 (28-ounce) can chopped tomatoes, or 8 large tomatoes (fresh is better, but the can worked great during the off season when you don't want to pay the extra bucks)
2 (6-ounce) cans tomato paste
1 1/2 cups red wine or beef broth (I've used both, I prefer the flavor of the broth over the wine)
1 cup (or more) water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons each dried oregano and basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper (or to taste)
Saute the onion, garlic, parsley and mushrooms in the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat for 3 - 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.
Add the UNDRAINED tomato paste. Bring to a boil and stir in one cup of the wine (broth). Reduce the heat to low and add the water, sugar, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.
Simmer over low heat for 20 minutes (or more), stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup wine (broth) and simmer for 10 minutes longer or until the desired consistency.
If you want to add ground meat or meatballs, do it at the end right before you serve it. For our small family of 3, this is 3 meals worth of sauce. It freezes fantastically!