Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15, 2011: Spaghetti Sauce Recipe

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Some years ago I worked at a hotel near downtown Mesa, Arizona. While I was there, I became friends with one of the maintenance workers, Bob. Bob was the quintessential Italian-American, complete with faint New York accent and proud, dark moustache. Who better, I thought, to ask for a recipe for spaghetti sauce?

Bob was gracious enough to share with me his family recipe for authentic Italian spaghetti sauce and it’s the one I always use now. As for those handy sauces in a jar like Prego? Forgedaboutit!!

Tip: If you’ve got tomatoes fresh from the garden ready for use, blanch and peel them and use them in place of the canned tomatoes in this recipe.

Bob’s Spaghetti Sauce

5 cloves garlic, minced
4 T. olive oil

Heat olive oil to medium in a large pot. Add garlic and brown slowly just until slightly brown.

3 pint cans crushed tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste

Add to pot along with 2 empty paste cans of water; stir. Continue to cook over medium heat until it begins to boil. Reduce heat to simmer.

If using Italian sausage, boil in one-quarter inch of water until white, then add to sauce at this time.

After 45 minutes of cooking, add basil, parsley, oregano (about 1 tablespoon of each) and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Continue simmering. After an hour, taste and add more seasoning as needed. If it tastes bitter, add a bit more sugar. Spoon grease off the top of the sauce as needed (if using sausage) or place a slice of soft bread on top to soak up the grease. Add water if the sauce is too thick.

Cook for a minimum total time of two to two-and-a-half hours.

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