The Spaghetti Sauce Thread

Discussion in 'Dancers Anonymous' started by samina, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    i love spaghetti w/ meat sauce. i do believe it's my favorite cooked meal.

    and there are SO.MANY different ways to makes sauces! i'm not the sort that has one recipe known as "sauce", which i make all the time... i've got many variations, depending on my mood

    am curious how others make their sauces and what everyone's preferences are. i know there are radically different approaches, which was highlighted this weekend when i overheard a party conversation amongst some italian friends -- they were talking about basil & oregano, how much they use, dried vs. fresh... one guy was delighted that he'd dried enuf basil from his garden to last the winter. by comparison, i never use herbs in my sauces, and would just as soon toss in a handful of dust as something dried.

    in addition, i'm generally not into tomato-y italian red sauces. i usually cook with tomato paste instead of tomatoes.

    what do you all like?
  2. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    I'm lazy, I tend to take a can(because I'm too cheap for jars ;) ), and then make it on stove as so.

    Start with reduction with all my herbs, etc.
    1-2C red wine, eyeballed
    Some Extra Virgin Olive oil, also eyeballed

    Dried:
    Basil
    Oregano
    Dusting of thyme
    Fresh ground black pepper

    Fresh if I have them, dry if not
    Garlic (or garlic powder)
    Onions (dried onions)

    Put that all on, cover, and reduce. once this is down to level I like, go back and add jar of sauce (generally Hunts No Sugar Added lately), mushrooms (preferably fresh, but generally canned), and sausage, ground beef, chicken, whatever I'm using in this batch. Let all that simmer, stirring occasionally.

    I generally put water on to boil then, so figure at least 10-15 minutes of simmer on the sauce. Use whole wheat noodles, and cook them al dente. Got clued into that a couple years ago, and never make mushy american style pasta anymore. :)

    Top with some parmesan and pour glass of same wine (either same bottle, or another bottle of same varietal).
  3. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    All of the above... :lol: I love tomato based spaghetti sauces with or without meat. One of my favorite meals. I'll think about how I make it and post more later.
  4. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    I take 3 cans (35 oz, I think) crushed tomatoes; add one full can of water, crushed garlic (maybe 2 tbsp), chopped fresh basil (maybe 2 tbps) to make regular marinara. I cook on super low for 3 hours.

    For meat sauce, I brown sweet sausage first, then add the garlic, tomatoes, and basil. I don't usually use chop meat, although some family members would probably like me to!
  5. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    I like two different variations. One with fresh tomatoes), the other is a very dark, heavy sauce like my parents make.

    The fresh sauce takes about 30 minutes and makes a pretty good pizza topping. Sautee a ton of garlic and red pepper flakes in plenty of olive oil, add a bunch of roughly chopped tomatoes and some water, and cook it until it's cooked enough for you. It gets exponentially spicier if you leave it in the fridge for a few days.

    The dark one (which cooks for about 2 full days, and usually gets burned once or twice) is my absolute favorite. Don't know how to make it, offhand...have to get together with my parents for yet another lesson. Sautee a good amount of onions in a little bit of olive oil, add some tomato paste, some cans of crushed tomatoes, dried basil, a bay leaf on general principle, (would also add an allspice berry for the same reason, but it would be too hard to fish out again). Tastes best after cooking meatballs in it--some of which invariably break apart and make the sauce kind of meaty. Very little or no garlic, god forbid oregano, no salt (which I generally don't cook with anyway). Don't remember any more than that at the moment.

    I've got to get together with my parents so they can teach it to me again. When I have more info I can share, if you want.
  6. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    BTW - I'm glad we're calling it "sauce" and NOT "gravy." Gravy is what you put on pototoes and meat... :wink:
  7. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    the sauce i make the most often is greek-style, seasoned with cumin & cinnamon.

    saute the ground meat in olive oil, the red onions & bit of garlic... then tomato paste (roughly half a can to one pound meat) to darken... add water, cumin, cinnamon, and butter, salt & pepper, bit of sugar. simmer to thicken a bit & you're good to go...

    sometimes i make it more brothy, sometimes a bit redder with more tomato paste. but it's not a thick tomato-y sauce...
  8. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    My grandfather always called it "gravy." Never understood that, and he was the only person I ever ran across who called it that. Odd to hear someone else allude to the same thing.
  9. mamboqueen

    mamboqueen Well-Known Member

    ditto...another sauce snob from joisey!
  10. etp777

    etp777 Active Member

    Hrmmm, now I want biscuits and gravy.
  11. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    lol... reminds me of very cute story an old BF told me about his italian parents...

    when they married, the groom had his bride take lessons on how to make italian pasta "gravy" from his momma, so he could keep on enjoying his favorite sauce. and time after time, his new wife duplicated the recipe exactly as the mother-in-law had shown her. year in and year out, she tried her best to make the same sauce, but she could never duplicate it, never could make it taste quite like momma's.

    one year, tho, she burned the sauce. not wanting to toss it out & start from the scratch, she made do & served it anyway. "this is IT! this is just like momma makes!!!!" her husband declared, absolutely delighted. lol... she found the secret.

    and actually, it makes a lot of sense why it makes a difference... it adds a nice flavorful undertone to darken everything. i always brown my sauce a degree away from burnt before adding water... on purpose, tho... heh
  12. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    I first heard "gravy" when I moved to New Jersey from an Italian family. Since then, I've been told it's Italian. I still say "sauce."
  13. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    wha...? lol... tis the lay of the land out here amongs the italians, that's for sure... :)
  14. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    Mmmmm - I love biscuits and (milk) gravy.
  15. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    That's more than just a joke, really.

    When my parents got married, my dad's grandmother made my mother go shopping with her and then make pasta sauce with her, so she could learn to do it the "correct way."

    She could never get it...until my dad made it with her one time...and deliberately burned it. Voila.
  16. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    that's exacty the story i just told... wasn't a joke at all, the real deal about a fave BF's parents... lol

    um... do you have a brother named mark? LOL
  17. Peaches

    Peaches Well-Known Member

    Oh, sorry about that. I just read it quickly as a joke.

    No brother named Mark, but have cousins/uncles.
  18. LucyDiamond

    LucyDiamond Active Member

    My recipe is very simple - got it from my (German - so may not be authentic :wink:) Grandmother on my Dad's side:

    Brown ground beef and chopped onions in frying pan, no need to add oil use fat rendered from ground beef. Salt & pepper to taste. When beef done, drain all fat and transfer beef & onions to large sauce pan. Add:

    Tomato Paste
    Tomato Sauce
    Water
    Italian Seasoning
    Garlic Powder
    Salt & Pepper

    All seasonings to taste. Bring to low boil, lower heat and simmer for awhile. (Don't know how long because I usually eat it as soon as it's hot.)
  19. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    no, nuttin' to apologize for... it does read like a joke. it's even funnier that you have the same story. i wonder how common it is... i mean, it must happen a lot, enuf that "burn a bit" might already be part of some passed-down recipes. lol
  20. samina

    samina Well-Known Member

    so, one thing i don't do is add canned mushrooms. i think that's one of the few foods i simply can't get down. the texture... oh, dear me...

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