Spaghetti Sauce Recipes [Split from General Chowhounding Topics]
I started this recipe from the Frugal Gourmet cookbook, and have tweaked it for almost 10 years. If you prefer a sweet sauce, this isn't for you.
3 cups mirepriox (1-1/2 cup chopped onion and 1/2 C. each chopped carrot and celery)
6-8 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 Tbs olive oil
1+ tsp red pepper flakes
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
3x 28oz.cans of tomato product (organic or otherwise is your choice)
2 cups red table wine
1 can tomato paste
3 bay leaves or powder
2+ tsp dried oregano, plus basil rosemary, thyme. fresh is also fine
1 Tbl parsley
salt and pepper
Sweat the aromatics in the olive oil in a 6 qt pan w/ salt. When they are fragrant and translucent, add the dried herbs, red pepper and canned tomatoes and wine. Bring this mixture back to a simmer, cover and let simmer for 2-3 hours. Longer is better if you have the time. I like to add the paste just before I process it.
Puree with a stick blender, food processor or blender and then add fresh herbs, correct seasoning and serve.
If the sauce is too thick, it can be thinned with either more wine or beef stock.
I like to substitute fresh fennel bulb for the celery when it is in season, but you may not like the stronger flavor.
You can sweat Italian sausage and use this fat to replace the olive oil if you like meat in your sauce. Reserve the meat until after it is processed.
My Italian neighbor used to put Parmesan cheese rinds and beef rib bones in the sauce. If you do that you need to cut back on the salt and remove the meat before pureeing. You don't want to process the cheese rinds and meat.
I realize everyone's sauce recipe is different, so I apologize in advance for what I'm about to say. We all prefer the sauce we grew up with, and trust our mothers and grandmothers. My mother insists (as do I) that "oregano is for pizza." She and I use, in addition to assorted meats (including sweet Italian sausage, which contains fennel), only basil and garlic.