Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Spaghetti Sauce


Ingredients:

2 6 oz can of Contadina Tomato Paste. It is pure tomato, skinned, seeded, pureed and concentrated. If you look at the ingredient list of any commercial tomato sauce, the first two ingredients are tomato paste and water. I buy Contadina because the only ingredient it uses is tomatoes. Most other brands in grocery stores include other ingredients such as onion, salt, and spices. Not necessarily bad, but not necessarily what you want. Buy Contadina, use your own herbs and spices.

16 oz of liquid. I read on the inter-tubes that you need to cut tomato paste with liquid in the ratio of 4::3 to use it as a sauce base. Today I used 12 oz of beef broth and 4 oz of sweet red vermouth. They were both just sitting around. YMMV.

About 2 medium onions diced. Actually I use frozen chopped, and I cook big batches of them. It saves a lot of effort. A medium onion is a cup of diced onion is about 1/3rd cup of cooked chopped onion.

4 cloves of garlic.

palm of oregano. I don't measure I pour a bunch into my palm and rub it to break up the dried leaves.

bigger palm of basil.

24 oz mild Italian chicken sausage. I cut it up into little disks. You could use any kind meat or sausage you like or substitute mushrooms.

olive oil

2 15 oz cans of diced tomatoes. I try to buy ones with minimal added salt and ingredients.

Process:

I poured the oil into my 6 qt Le Creuset pot, and put it on low heat. I added the sausage in batches and cooked them until they were nice and crispy. (The sausages were pre-cooked, but browning them doesn't hurt.). I took them out of the pot and reserved them.

I drained most of the oil, and put the onions in the pot on low heat, and crushed the garlic into the onions, so it could mellow a bit. It would take longer if you started with uncooked onions.

I added a little liquid and stirred, then the herbs, and let it cook for a couple of minutes.

I added the rest of the liquid and waited until it came to a boil.

I added the tomato paste, and stirred it into the liquid. I let that come to a boil.

I added the 2 cans of diced tomatoes, stirred, and let that come to a boil.

I added the cooked sausage, and let the sauce come to a boil.

I reduced the heat to simmer, put the lid on the pot and let it go for a while.

Makes enough sauce for two or three packages of spaghetti. (actually, I use linguini which I like better than spaghetti because it is easier to cook to al dente.)

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