Friday, July 16, 2010
My Mama's Spaghetti Sauce
My mom makes a mean spaghetti sauce and she always shares her recipes and skills with me. This sauce is so good it could be bottled and sold. We use mostly homemade products in our home and rarely employ the use of pre-made sauces etc. So here is how that sauce happened (my mom makes a vat of it, literally, so that she can freeze it and use it for weeks and weeks to come... it freezes and thaws really well).
You will need a GIANT pot for this and a HUGE pan... you can scale it down but I have no measurements for that... just for the jumbo size!! ;)
First, put some olive oil into the GIANT pot and then start the heat. Take 8 cloves of fresh garlic that is chopped up pretty fine (you can use a garlic press if you like but those things annoy me, so I go for the big knife!!). Let the garlic saute for a bit (not at a high heat) and add 1 1/2 chopped onions to the mix. Once they have gone translucent, add 3 or 4 cans of tomato paste (yup, we buy that stuff) and then add in 2 GIANT cans of diced tomatoes (my mom uses her homemade ones when she has them - yes, that's right... she cans her own when the energy and mood hits her). Then let the heat begin to rise and add 2 or 3 big cans of tomato sauce (we buy that too). The last things that you add are the mushrooms and the meat mixture (see below).
The meat mixture: Take your HUGE pan and put some olive oil into it and put it on a medium heat. Add 8 more finely chopped garlic cloves and 1 more chopped onion. You got it, saute it to translucence (I don't know if that's a word, but it is now!!! ;) ). Then add the hamburger meat (we use extra lean ground beef, but you can go with turkey, chicken, bison or even tofu if you like). Cook until browned. Do not add salt or any other spices to this at this point.
Once your meat is ready to add to your tomato sauce, add it in while stirring constantly. Then add several leaves of fresh basil, oregano and a bay leaf or two. Let the vat simmer for a couple of hours. Make sure to give it a stir once every 15 minutes or so to make sure nothing is burning to the bottom.
Now, my variation on this little gem is to put a cup or two of red wine into the meat mixture. This way the alcohol burns off and the flavour is SOOOoooooOOOoooo good!!