Monday, March 30, 2009

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

I'm not sure if this is of general use beyond my own reference, and Nate's if he doesn't have it already, or Pete's if he ever momentarily lapses into cooking something with two pounds of meat in it, but Mom's spaghetti sauce recipe is obviously very very good and worth cooking. Also, placing a recipe in the middle of the blog is a good way to diversify its literary aspects and lend it the nonnarrative postmodern street cred you need in this crazy day and age. I'll also mention that you can get your hands on some very high-quality Italian sausage in New Haven.

I cooked this yesterday (dizzly March weather, perfect for staying in and simmering something for a while and drinking a couple of glasses of the wine you're cooking with) and put together a spaghetti dinner for Sarah tonight, along with steamed broccoli rabe (remarkably well-kept for having been bought ten days ago for the previous marquee dinner; you go, fridge crisper) and ciabatta rolls. That is a hearty straight-up meal right there.

1 1/2 pounds of lean ground beef
1 large can (28 oz) tomato puree
1/2 can of water
1/4 can of dry red wine
2-4 links of sweet Italian sausage (uncooked)
1 clove fresh garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried crushed sweet basil
1/2 tsp crushed oregano
2 tsp sugar
Salt to taste (maybe 1/4 tsp)
1/4 tsp black pepper
Dash of soy sauce
1 can (6 oz) of tomato paste

Brown meat with garlic; drain fat. Add the tomato puree and, using the can as a measure, add water and wine. Add other ingredients, except the tomato paste. Simmer for 2 – 3 hours. At the end you add the paste. The easiest way is to put the paste in a heatproof container (pyrex measuring cup or bowl) and gradually stir in some of the sauce—1/4 cup at a time, stirring until smooth. Then add the thinned paste to the pot of sauce and stir well. The thinner you make the paste, the easier it is to add. (If you don’t thin it first, it takes a long time to get the lumps out of the sauce.)

You can brown the sausages first and drain them to reduce the amount of fat that goes into the sauce.


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