Soy Sunday 137: Spaghetti Sauce
“Salsa di Pomodoro”
Basic Italian translation to English is sauce of tomato (or tomato sauce) which as we all know is the basic ingredient in any good Spaghetti Sauce! By adding meat you make it a “Sugo“.
There are many, so many, different versions of spaghetti sauce in the world. (some people call it “gravy”) For each different sauce there are a million ways to make it, add to it, and modify it. It all depends on where your from, what you like and, if your like me, what you were taught.
A lot of people think of these when they hear that some one is making spaghetti sauce or making spaghetti for dinner and that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with store bought sauce. I have been known to use Prego in my own cooking. especially when I am short on time, because it doesn’t have any milk product in it.
(Ragu has Romano Cheese listed right on its label)
When I think of spaghetti sauce I think of these… Like my grandmother and my father make… Home made, simmering for hours on end with the house smelling of spices and roasted tomatoes. The longer it cooked the better the smell. My grandma would make big batches of stewed tomatoes, skinned and whole tomatoes, tomato puree then she would can it and store it for use later. My dad will break out the can of tomatoes, add his special touch, and voila dinner! mmmh, just thinking about it has my mouth watering and now I am craving some pasta. Quick put the pot on to boil 🙂
Did you know that most spaghetti sauces have some form of milk in them? They typically have Romano or Parmesan cheese listed right on the label or ingredient list. I never would have thought of it before Mr. D but now with me reading EVERY label for EVERYTHING! I found that most store bought sauces have some form of milk in them.
When I am in a rush and have little time, I pull out the prego, add my special touches and set to lightly boil for a about the 5-10 minutes it takes the water to boil the noodles.
When I have the time and can put the effort into making the spaghetti sauce “from scratch” here is what I do
- 2 qt. (64 oz)tomato juice (you can use crushed tomatoes instead if you want)
- 1 can (29oz) tomato puree
- 1 can (12oz) tomato paste
- 6-8 oz of water (Sometimes I use the water from the pasta- that nice starchy water)
The following are to taste. Typically I use the palm of my hand when I cup it or a pinch of my fingers or a few shakes of the bottle so the amounts might be a little off… I also like to rub the oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary and marjoram (or italian seasoning)between my palms to break it down a little bit.
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Salt
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Pepper
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Granulated Garlic
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Granulated Onion or 1 small onion diced
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Seasoning Salt
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Oregano
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Basil
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Thyme
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Rosemary
- 1/2 to 1 tsp Marjoram
- 1 -2 tsp Sugar
- 1-2 cans of Mushrooms (diced)
- 1 or 2 Bay leaves(make sure to pull them out before serving)
after its been simmering for a little while, I taste it to make sure the flavor is there and add anything if needed. all this sauce makes about 3 quarts when cooked.
My kids really don’t like meat sauce- which is why there are is no meat in the above recipe. Typically we add meat balls in later because they like those- go figure or we use grilled chicken, chicken patties (like the Chicken Parmesan pictured below)
If you like meat in your spaghetti sauce you can add the following;
Seasoned, browned and drained: ground beef, ground turkey, ground sausage, or if your hunters- you can even add in your wild game (rabbit, squirrel, venison, elk, etc.)
I usually just add in ground beef or pork sausage (sometimes both) that I have cooked in a pan with some fresh ground sea salt, fresh ground pepper, seasoning salt, granulated garlic or garlic cloves and some onions. Sometimes I add the mushrooms into the meat mixture instead of the sauce to give them that nice meaty flavor. After everything is cooked through and drained, I add it to the sauce, bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes so the flavors will mix well and serve over your favorite pasta. My kids like spaghetti “swoopy” noddles because they get to make the “swoop” sound while sucking them up.
If you are going to use ground venison or elk- Please remember to use some nice olive oil or vegetable oil to keep it from burning. Because the meat is naturally so lean, it has nothing to cook its self with and can turn into a big black burnt mess very quickly.
Next week I will be adding my recipe for meatballs (remember the dairy free breadcrumbs? ) come back and check out how I use them to make “amazing” meat balls- a very high compliment from a 5 and 7 year old 🙂