My kind of Fast Food – Spaghetti Sauce!

Lately my lovely wife and I have both been keeping odd hours. It’s tough to eat right when you aren’t even getting home until 8pm or 9pm. Add to that my wife’s “witching hour” problem – she just isn’t hungry once she’s tired.

So yesterday I started a big pot of spaghetti sauce. This is my Mom’s recipe, with a little (Mom approved) cheating. It’s home-made marinara (or meat) sauce, without all the fuss.

Mom’s Marinara

Base Sauce

Put these all in a large pan and start your sauce simmering

  • Large can of diced tomatos
  • Regular can of tomato sauce
  • Small can of tomato paste

Basic Seasoning
Just get a basic flavorful sauce started

  • Garlic & olive oil
  • simmer garlic in olive oil to release the flavor. I use a LOT, like half a head, but use big hunks so it turns out more sweet than sharp or hot.
  • Oregano – dried or fresh (to taste)
  • Basil – dried or fresh (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper

Optional Fun!
Have some fun experimenting

  • Balsamic Vinegar

The cheap stuff is fine. I use an ounce or so.

  • Red wine

Cheap stuff works fine here, too. Or whatever you’re drinking. Just an ounce or two

  • More Garlic!!!

experiment with chopping it finely or coarsely, or including some whole cloves. Finer chopping makes it hotter and sharper, simmering in oil (don’t burn it!) will make it sweeter.

  • Other herbs

Marjoram, Sage, Rosemary, Fennel, and Parsley can each add a nice touch to your sauce

  • Make it fresh

Sometimes we start with real tomatoes and simmer them down. Just run a couple nice juicy ones int he blender and chop some others up. frying them in a little olive oil sweetens them and brings out a nice flavor.

  • Add grated carrots, not sugar!

Lots of recipes call for a little sugar to take the edge off the acid of the tomatoes. Try some grated carrot instead. it has the added bonus of thickening the sauce a little.

Meat – also optional, but yummy.
Just about anything that adds flavor works…

  • Ground Beef and Italian Sausage (ground type)

I grew up on 50/50 ground beef and italian sausage in my meat sauce. We fry it up in a pan before adding it to the sauce. Add a little salt a pepper to the ground beef for flavor. The italian sausage shouldn’t need it.

  • Lamb or just about anything else…

whatever you use, it just needs to stand up to the rest of the sauce. For example, with chicken that means cooking it first and giving it some flavor of it’s own.

Simmer and Stir, taste and adjust
Spaghetti sauce loves to simmer. It just seems to keep getting better. A batch will often last several days – not because I make that much in the beginning, but I keep doctoring it and adding more to it as it thickens up.

Did I mention that the whole house will smell wonderful?

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