exactly. well... truth be told, there's a difference between "browning" and "burning"... but i think a bit of that carbonization (is that a real word???) from the burn is a nice effect. i don't generally go quite that far, tho.
Oh no, Dad's get's burned. There's the ritual of scraping up the burned bits, pouring some hot water on, and scraping some more...then stirring it into the sauce.
One variation they've done, but not much...add roasted red pepper puree (and balsamic, I think) to the sauce. It doesn't work well if you're making a meat sauce (or cooking meatballs in it), but if you're doing a straight-up vegetarian sauce it's a nice change.
Canned mushrooms don't hold a cnadle to fresh, but I'm lazy, and used to only go grocery shopping once a month or so, so didn't buy a lot of fresh stuff. I tend to go once a week now, due to changes in diet (can't exactly stock up on milk, eggs or cottage cheese), but the canned mushrooms rather than fresh are still a habit.
Yeah, cooking and eating strictly for one makes it harder to buy fresh ingredients. Most of it will spoil before I can get to it.
As I was getting kicked out of the family (ie, during the divorce), I got a number of family recipes from my in-laws. I've posted my father-in-law's spaghetti sauce recipe at http://members.aol.com/dwise1/recipes/spaghetti_sauce.html. It uses ground beef, chopped onions, garlic, tomato sauce, tomato paste, tomatoes, olive oil, red wine, anise, italian seasonings, bay leaves, and Parmesan cheese. We blend everything which gives it a smooth consistency.
At Sunday dinners, regardless of what they had fixed for everybody, the kids always wanted spaghetti. And when I made it the first time (unblended and not quite as thick as it should have been, I took some over to my "dance buddy". Even though she's a bit anorexic and can't eat a complete meal, she went back for seconds.
I haven't tried it yet with this recipe, but when I'd use the store-bought sauce from jars I would sometimes add some canned mushrooms.
Ahhh, yes. Love pesto. DH had a couple of basil plants this summer that grew crazy well. We couldn't make enough pesto to even begin to put a dent in it. We currently have to big containers of basil leaves all frozen.
Talking about tomato based sauces - the big major supermarket brands (Prego, Ragu) are entirely too sweet, IMHO. I like the tomato paste/Hunt's No Sugar Added ideas. I used to use Francesco Rinaldi, but don't think it's sold in GA. So as a result have been trying out canned/diced tomatoes.
Peaches, if you're talking about using it straight hte way it is, I absolutely agree that jarred sauce is better than anything out of a can, and enough better to be worth the exrtra cost (often 3-4 times as much). But if you're going to work with it and add a bunch of stuff as I described anwyay, i'd rather save the money and go with a can. Esp so I can get the no sugar added stuff.
But yes, straight out of container, jarred sauce, esp the good brands, such as those you listed, are far superior to can.