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May 26, 2014 08:53 PM

Saucyness is close to godliness.

Let's talk about tomato sauce.

I have some on the stove right now! Here's what i put in it:

Sauteed garlic and mushrooms, followed by six spicy/hot sausages cut into 3rds which were then seared before adding crushed tomatoes. A little salt and pepper, basil and oregano (unfortunately the herbs were not fresh, i only had dried) And a small handful of Parmesan cheese.

I had baked some chicken earlier in the day and saved the drippings so, screw it, in the pot it goes. Popped on the lid and lowered to a simmer.
Now i plan on letting it sit for quite a while, at least until the sausage is cooked through. I find the longer you cook a sauce the better the end result but is it possible I'll over-cook the meat?

What are some sausome sauces you guys and gals have free-styled? Also what are some staple rules you have when it comes to making a good tomato sauce or marinara? (Is there a difference between the two?) Ive heard of people putting vinegar in their sauce. Is this cool? I wanna know your deepest darkest sauce secrets!

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  1. I cook the sauce for a long time adding sausage at the end so as not to dry it out.

    1. Deepest darkest secrets? I've added fish sauce to mine. And MSG because why not?

      1. =============
        but is it possible I'll over-cook the meat?

        Not likely.

        If on too high a temp the tomato sauce can scorch on the bottom of the pan imparting a bitter flavor, as can burning or overcooking your garlic when sauteing.

        I find marinara a short cook sauce and light only going 45 minutes.

        Long cooked sauces get into "Sunday Gravy" for me, and use meat proteins of choice.

        I once fell asleep during a normal 3 hour sauce make that came out 4.5 hours-Derp. All the meat was ,actually, better.

        I don;t free style.
        Same recipe. Same rules. Every time.
        Proteins may change, but brand of tomato puree, tomato sauce, crushed tomates, or tomato paste never changes if possible.

        My "ex" made it weekly or bi-monthly and I could notice the differences when she changed tomato brands due to flavor and freshness. Both long and short cook sauces. Years ago I boiled it down to a science.

        Things like mushrooms (if uncooked) and ground beef can "steal flavor" so you have to add them back in. Unseasoned chicken can do the same.

        Well done Meatballs and sausage (casing or not) do the opposite.

        Red sauce is not red sauce is not red sauce. :-)
        LOTS of variations out there.
        All over the globe.

        To me, marinara and "long cook sauce" is not the same.
        I do marinara in the warm months.
        Long cook in the cold.

        Lots of threads here on CH re: the matter.

        1. I've found that when the sauce is finished cooking and off the heat, it enhances the flavors to stir in a little ground clove. You don't want anyone to actually taste it, and remember clove is very strong... so a little of this will go a long way.

          1. Sausage will over cook
            Meatballs will also

            Tough cuts of meat benefit from cooking a long time (i.e. braciole, country ribs)

            jjjrfoodi and I have the same “style”

            the pork and/or braciole go in early... it's at least two hours before I add in meatballs or sausage

            while the meat may change the technique and the basic ingredients to do not

            for something a little different, I do enjoy Scarpetta’s take on marinara, finishing with some butter and cheese as I’m tossing the pasta with the sauce

            (it’s REALLY good!)