Sunday, August 10, 2008

Spaghetti Sauce

I never had jarred spaghetti sauce when I was a kid. In fact my Dad is somewhat famous in our (rather large) family for his sauce, and my Mom made a pretty darn good version of it too. When I moved out on my own and had to resort to jarred sauces, I was not a happy camper. Eventually I talked my Mom into showing me how to make the "real stuff", and with a few tips from my Dad I was on my way! It does take some work, but the recipe makes a LOT of sauce and freezes very well. We usually eat this for a day or two and then I freeze the rest in quart size ziploc freezer bags for later.

I'm going to warn everyone now, my measurements for this are approximate, so if something looks too much or too little for your taste, just use the amount you prefer. This is one of those recipes that really turns out well in many variations, so don't be afraid to make it your own!

Extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 green bell peppers, chopped
3-4 Tbs minced garlic
4 6oz cans tomato paste
1 can Campbell's condensed beef broth
28 oz can Progresso tomato puree
28 oz can Progresso crushed tomatoes
1 bottle of red wine (I like Merlot)
2/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsely, chopped (or a few Tbs dried)
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped (or a few Tbs dried)
1 Tbs salt
1 Tbs accent (optional, don't use if you're sensitive to MSG)
3 Tbs dried oregano
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/2 tsp onion salt
black pepper to taste
2 tsp sugar
2 handfuls grated Parmesan/Romano cheese blend
few dashes Worcestershire sauce
1 lb beef soup bones
1 package sweet Italian sausage, links cut into 2-3" pieces

Add enough olive oil to coat the bottom of a 5-6 quart heavy saucepan. Saute onions, peppers and garlic over medium low heat until onions are transluscent. Add tomato paste and beef broth, stirring to mix well. Add tomato puree, crushed tomatoes and wine (yes, the WHOLE bottle, stir all together. Stir in remaining ingredients and allow to simmer covered over low heat for 3 to 4 hours being sure to stir well every 20 to 30 minutes. You can adjust seasonings to taste after 2 hours (give the flavors time to develop). When done, remove the bones and discard, set the sausage pieces aside to serve with your meal.

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