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Thursday, January 26, 2012

The BEST Spaghetti Sauce...Ever

So here's the post all of you have all been waiting for. Ok, like a whole two or three of you....but still... :)  If you try the sauce I think you'll be very happy indeed. I love food and having lived in major metropolitan areas on both coasts (Sacramento and NYC, respectively) and now living near the Gulf Coast I like to think I know good food when I taste it.

This recipe is not mine, but it is from a friend of Italian ancestry. It is her Aunt Lou's recipe.

Let me state to begin with that spaghetti has a sketchy history in my family consisting of five kids and two adults. It's fast, easy...and some sauces come in cans therefore we are no strangers to spaghetti sauces. We've had our fair share. The track record has been pretty steady- if four or more in our family like it (understanding that parent's votes count double) then it will likely be made again. This has led to some dinnertime rebellion around here, I admit. Children have been known to be bribed with garlic bread.

This sauce is something special. My five children are 18, 16, 9, 6 and 3. Only one child, ONE, considers this sauce so-so. This child is older than 9yo and apparently of questionable palette. The 3yo? She asked for seconds. :)

I LOVE this sauce. My husband said "It was really good!" This is the man who does not share my affinity for all things Italian. (Unless, of course, we are talking John's of 12th Street in the Little Italy area of Manhattan.) It took all my restraint to limit my taste testings. Ok, in truth, I did not limit them. :)

My 9yo who abhors anything fruit or vegetable actually said this sauce was 'Not bad!'. This is the self-same child who would beg for PB&J when faced with the possibility of lesser sauces. He ate every.single.bite- even all the pasta. If you knew this child you would truly understand the magnitude of this feat.

Without any further ado:

 Aunt Lou's Spaghetti Sauce
Or as I like to call it: The VERY BEST, Most Fantabulous Spaghetti Sauce ....Ever.

Minced garlic (I used 5 fresh cloves)
1 Green bell pepper
1 Onion
Mushrooms (I used one can)
1 Red Bellpepper ( I had a roasted yellow one in the freezer and used that)
~~~I chopped/minced/pulverized all the above in a small appliance due to the aforementioned non-veggie loving child and the mutiny that was sure to ensue should ANY of my clan spot a mushroom~~

Olive oil
Italian Seasonings - Basil, Oregano, Sage, Bayleaf  ( I used 2 Bay leaves and approximately 1 TBSP each of the rest)
5 cans Tomato Sauce
1 can Diced tomatoes ( I used Delmonte's basil, garlic and oregano)
1 can Tomato paste
1/4 C Brown Sugar (I used natural cane Turbinado sugar)
1C Romano, Asagio, Parmesean cheese blend
( I used a blend that also had aged provolone and only used 1/2 C because my blend struck me as strong. 1C would have been fine.)
1/2 C Red wine- Merlot, Pinot Noir or Sweet red. (I used Sweet Red.)
Ground beef (I used 1 lb and added sauce to it to get the thickness of sauce I like.)

Pour 4 TBSP Olive oil in a Dutch Oven and heat over Med. heat. Sautee diced/minced veggies in oil until onions are transparent. Add Tomato paste and sautee about another 5 minutes. Add the rest of the ingredients (EXCEPT meat). Season to taste. Drop in a hardboiled egg (or 3) and Simmer 2-3 hours on Low heat.

Yield: I made one dinner of spaghetti with Meat sauce ( for 7 with 2 servings left over), 1 dinner of Parmesan chicken, and I could make one more spaghetti meal for at least 5, perhaps 7 people from this one batch. I think my Dutch Oven is 6 qts.  and there was some room left over while making this.

My friend had told me about the hard boiled eggs and how much she loves them, and since I love them in general I tossed in two. As soon as the sauce was done simmering, I ate the eggs. I have no idea if there is any other purpose for the eggs other than a tasty snack. A tasty snack is reason enough for me! :)

ETA: My 6yo just ran and tackled me as I sit here telling me " I LOVE the chicken! It's my most favoritest chicken ever!" It's non-breaded Parmesan chicken. Guess which sauce I used? Yep. You nailed it. :)

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