Even a Culinary Institute of America grad who cooked his way to victory on Top Chef All-Stars sometimes struggles with the what's-for-dinner question. "The easy way out is just to pretend I'm Italian," says Richard, an Atlanta-based restaurant owner and father of two. "I always keep a quart of this classic tomato sauce in the fridge. It's great to have handy on a hectic weeknight." Mangia!
Richard Blais' Tomato Sauce
3 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow onion, minced
8 cloves garlic, minced
2 28 oz cans tomatoes in juice (such as San Marzano)
1 4-inch piece Parmesan cheese rind
1/4 cup finely diced prosciutto, prosciutto rind, dried sausage or salami (optional)
4 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and freshly
ground black pepper, to taste
18 to 20 fresh basil leaves
Originally published in the March 2013 issue of Family Circle magazine.