I was trying to decide what to make for dinner, and realized I had all the stuff for a homemade spaghetti sauce. Normally I chintz out and just do a jar (although I admit I can’t leave anything straight out of the box and am always adding something), which is a fine quick meal.
So when I announced to my husband I was making sauce from scratch I got the usual “people DO that?” face.
So I pulled out this recipe that I had long ago saved and set about making it mine. Below is the final result (which has since been made several times over).
Also of note – I tried a few weeks later to grab a jar from the pantry and Chris looked at it disapprovingly.
“Um, you’re not making it yourself?” :/
“No, I don’t have the ingredients.”
“What would you need? I can go to the store.”
Mind you, this is not a man that normally wants to go anywhere near a grocery store, let alone offers to go.
1/2 lb bulk Italian sausage (mild to hot depending on your preference – I’ve used Texas chorizo too)
1/2 lb ground beef (leaner is better – otherwise you may need to drain some grease)
or 1 lb ground beef if you don’t want sausage
1 small onion, chopped
2-5 garlic cloves, rough chopped (the more the better as far as I’m concerned)
1 (29 ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 cup water (I usually do a half can of water in the tomato sauce can – to get the extra off the sides)
1 teaspoons basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
1 TB brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 TB crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper
1/8 cup red wine*
I highly suggest keeping the wine, it adds a depth that isn’t there until this is added
angel hair spaghetti (my preference – really any pasta will do)
Parmesan cheese (for topping your pasta)
In a large stockpot, brown the sausage and beef, breaking it up as you stir. When the meat is mostly browned through, add the chopped onions and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until onions start to get translucent. (If you have a fattier meat, drain any extra grease.)
Add the garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce and water. Then stir in the basil, parsley, brown sugar, salt, crushed red pepper, and black pepper. If I want a bit of heat, I’ll add a 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder too.
Stir well and bring to a low simmer. Mix in the red wine. Continue to simmer on low, stirring frequently for at least an hour. A longer simmer makes for a better sauce, just be careful not to let it burn!
Cook your pasta according to package directions.
Spoon sauce over drained pasta and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with homemade garlic bread (recipe coming soon).
*Cook’s note: For the wine – I prefer the small bottles of Sutter Home. You can get them in a four pack – in glass bottles – and are perfect for recipes if you’re not a wine drinker. I avoid “cooking wine” at all costs. The better the wine the better the dish! No affiliation to Sutter Home, they’re just one of the few offering small bottles like that.