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This is the type of question that starts range wars! Every family with Italian ancestors has THE way to make spaghetti sauce, and every one is different. Here's my version of the only way:
1 28 oz can whole Italian tomatoes
1 small can (6 oz, I think) tomato paste
2 cloves garlic
1 cup water
1 small onion
fresh or dried oregano
pork and/or pork sausage
meatballs (optional, and a separate recipe)
Put the tomato paste, about half the water, and the can of whole tomatoes with the juice in a blender and blend until the onion is thoroughly incorporated. Pour the contents of the blender into a large pot. Add the rest of the water to the blender and swish it around to get the remaining tomato flavor and add to the pot. Add about half cup of red wine to the pot. Add two whole peeled garlic cloves, a handful of chopped fresh parsley, 4 or 5 leaves of fresh basil chiffonade (sliced into ribbons). Add about 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano or a tablespoon of chopped fresh oregano. Add fresh ground pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer. In the meantime. brown the pork and/or pork sausage, and meatballs in oil with two cloves of garlic and fry until browned. Drain well and add the meat to the pot. Cover and simmer for at least 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally to prevent the sauce from burning. Skim off any fat before serving over pasta. Enjoy!
My aunt used to make a big event of making her own sauce every so often, and your recipe/steps look pretty much exactly like what she did (minus the wine). Our ancestry is Scottish, so I guess she learned it from someone/something else.
I like anything with red wine so it looks like you might have a winner Thanks for sharing! I've always wanted to make my own sauce but it's a little intimidating. Can't wait to try this!
Looks pretty similar to my family recipe too. The only things different are we don't use wine or oregano, and do use bay leaves (removed after cooking).
Basic Italian Tomato Sauce for Pasta
* 3 Average whole tomatoes
* 2 medium onions, finely chopped
* 4 cloves garlic (chopped)
* 2 large carrots peeled and sliced
* 1 stalk celery, chopped
* Salt and pepper
* Ground chili flakes / cayenne pepper
Place a saucepan over medium heat and pour a little olive oil to cover the bottom. Once the oil is slightly heated, sauté some carrots and celery in it to soften the vegetables. Once the carrots and celery are soft, add a little chopped garlic and onion. Let it sauté for five minutes before removing from heat. Now, in a bowl, mix the tomatoes to a thick consistency. Add the mixed vegetables to the tomatoes and stir in. Add a little salt and pepper. If you want to add a spicy touch to your tomato sauce, then consider adding a little cayenne pepper or pepper flakes ground. Cook this mixture for thirty minutes on low heat. Read more about tomato sauce pasta from scratch.
As Bill said, every family has a slightly different recipe. In our family it is always Auntie Angie's recipe. I've never made it myself, but I still like to eat it! My grandma told me the two big tricks, are to always use some pork (has more flavor than beef I guess), and that basil & bay leaves are better herb choices than oregano! In her mind leave Oregano for Papa Gino's and the like, and it has no place in real Italian sauce.
I have a hub on rustic pasta sauce with a twist. 10 minutes prep and 1.5 hours cooking. You use fresh tomatoes and combine all ingredients in a bowl, cover with saran wrap and throw in the microwave. The flavors are intense, like sundried or roasted tomatoes. Try it when you are in the mood for something new.
My Italian uncle uses homegrown Roma tomatoes as the base for his sauce. Blanch and peel them (I oven-roast them because it's easier and sweetens the tomatoes). Set the peeled tomatoes aside. Melt a generous amount of butter and add a glug or two of olive oil. Sauté chopped onion and plenty of minced garlic until fragrant. Be careful not to burn the garlic or it will become bitter. Add a few anchovy fillets and sauté until the fillets disappear. Anchovies won't make the sauce fishy, but they will add amazing flavor.
Now add the peeled tomatoes and enough tomato paste to give the sauce color and richness. My uncle only adds bay leaf, basil, oregano and a pinch of sugar to his sauce. I like chopped fennel seed, crushed red pepper and rosemary, too. Thin the sauce with dry red wine (use any dry wine you would enjoy drinking), chicken broth or water. If you like meatballs, add them at this point. They give the sauce even more flavor. Simmer for at least 2 hours and serve over pasta. Enjoy!
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