Thursday, March 3, 2011 promised

As promised, I am finally getting around to posting the spaghetti sauce recipe!  As I said before, this is a treasured family recipe.  My great aunt, Marion (Mimi), used to make this sauce frequently.  I know it seems like a weird recipe to follow something fancy like Pavlova, but I don't think spaghetti night should have to mean dumping sauce out of a jar.  This sauce is absolutely freezer friendly - so make a double batch, separate the extra into amounts that will suit your family size (this recipe will feed several - don't forget I have a giant family!), and put them in the freezer to match the convenience that comes along with that stuff you buy in jars!  (Or, if you are really good, you could always can it yourself!  I'm not that great yet - but putting up is something I plan to conquer!  Look for a canning segment this summer - I'm sure it will provide ample entertainment!)  Here is a photo of what you can expect from this recipe!

What You Will Need
A Cutting Board
A Sharp Knife
A Microplane or Garlic Press
A Can Opener
Some Measuring Cups & Measuring Spoons
A Large, Deep Pot/Pan of your choice
A Wooden Spoon, or Non-staining Rubber Spatula for stirring
Some Vegetable Oil (or olive oil if you prefer) - you will use 3-5 Tablespoons
A Small Onion - or 1/2 of a Large Onion, for chopping
1 Clove of Garlic (I will be honest, if they are small, I might use up to three)
2 (1-1/2lb - that is 24oz) Cans of Italian Style Stewed Tomatoes
2 (6oz) Cans of Tomato Sauce
1-1/4 Cup Water
1/4 - 1/2 Teaspoon of Black Pepper
1 Teaspoon Dried Oregano or Dried Sweet Basil (I have used fresh basil as well, just be careful with it!)
2 Bay Leaves (I use dried)
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
1/4 Cup of Grated Parmesan - yes, that stuff in the shaker!
1 Teaspoon Salt

Okay, hoping that I told you everything you will need - equipment-wise....

Let's Do This!

  1. Open your canned goods before you get started - especially if you don't have a totally rockin' can opener! (We can't all have amazing kitchen utensils!)  
  2. Load your cutting board with that onion (sidebar, I am going to post some information about an amazing product I have)- and chop that sucker!  
  3. Then, using your microplane or garlic press, do some damage to the clove(s) of garlic - you can just make a garlic pile on your cutting board next to the onion pile.
  4. Gently heat some vegetable (or olive) oil in your pan/pot - and add the onion and garlic.  
  5. Saute the onion and garlic until they are tender and have taken on a bit of golden color.(You can make this a meat-sauce if you like meat-sauce... just brown your ground meat with your onion and garlic.)
  6. When your onion and garlic look nice, add your tomato sauce.
  7. Drain the Italian Style tomatoes over the pan.  Then, dump the tomatoes out on your cutting board  and give them a rough chop (this might take a couple of separate chopping sessions) before adding them to the pan.  (Why, you ask?  Well, I don't know what kind of pots and pans you have - but if you're working with non-stick, you don't want to break those tomatoes up in the pan.  My aunt's recipe says "break up tomatoes with a fork".  No forking tomatoes in non-stick cookware!!) 
  8. Add the water, salt, pepper, oregano or basil, bay leaves, sugar, and grated Parmesan.
  9. Stir to amalgamate.
  10. Simmer your sauce for about 1-1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
That's it!  Serve over your favorite pasta!  Please feel free to make it your own!  My niece loves meatballs, thus the meatballs in the photo!  I will give you one final tidbit from Mimi, though!  I am sure that you have all encountered the dreaded noodle ball before!  You drain your spaghetti noodles, and as they experience  dryness from the loss of their bathwater, they cling together and refuse to let go.  You can't just leave them floating in water all night or they will get soggy - you don't want to put them in the sauce because someone may not want super-saucy pasta.... Butter them!  After you drain your pasta, toss in some butter or margarine!  The noodles get a little extra layer or flavor, and the noodle ball won't ruin your visions of perfect pasta!  Good luck, and as always this one gets a place in the phoodos section so you can find the recipe fast when you need it!

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