Saturday, January 3, 2009

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

I have it simmering right now, so it's on my mind. The house smells SO good!

Okay, I came up with this recipe after reading about 20 different sauce recipes on All Recipes (linked to the right) and Mommy's Online. My mommy message board has a section for cooking/recipes, and I get a lot of ideas from chatting with other moms there. One of the moms who was posting about the sauce is Italian, so I paid close attention to what she said. I'm nowhere near as advanced - she makes her own tomato puree from scratch. That is a goal of mine eventually...but for now I'm taking baby steps, so I used canned tomato products.

Here is what I used:

1 onion, chopped
3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced*
2 tablespoons olive oil**
1 large can diced tomatoes (28 oz)
1 regular can tomato paste (12 oz)
2 tbsp dried basil
1 tbsp ground oregano
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground red pepper
1/4 cup red wine***
fresh parsley, chopped

I sauteed the chopped onion and minced garlic in the oil, then added all other ingredients. The directions say to simmer anywhere from 3-5 hours (depending on which recipe you read), but I am not sure I will cook mine for quite so long. I think if I had a dutch oven, this would work a bit better. On the stove top, it's getting really hot and boiling, even at the lowest setting. I'm worried the sauce is going to dry out. As a matter of fact, one hour into simmering, I added a bit of water. I didn't meausre out the parsley. Not all of the recipes I found called for it (and most of the ones that did called for dried parsley instead of fresh), but I wanted to incorporate it. So, I just chopped some fresh parsley and eyeballed it for quantity. We will see how that turns out.

*Funny story about the garlic. Okay, so I admit it...I have never used fresh garlic in my cooking before. I always take the easy way out and use garlic salt. So, I bought fresh garlic not really understanding what a CLOVE is. I'm thinking the whole thing is one clove. So I bought 4 of them, because I have another recipe to try this weekend that also calls for garlic. Well, come to find out, garlic comes apart into cloves once you peel it. So, one piece of garlic has like 10 cloves inside. That means I bought like 40 cloves of garlic. Good grief! Live and learn. LOL

**I forgot the olive oil. So I substituted vegetable oil this time. Hopefully that was an okay thing to do. It seems okay so far. But next time, I am going to use olive oil. It is more heart healthy and probably tastes better.

***I don't drink much red wine at all. I prefer white wines. So, I know basically nothing about what kind of wine to use in a sauce. I happened to have a bottle of Pinot Noir in the house (I think it was a gift, or maybe I bought it sometime), so I used that. The jury is out regarding how it will taste in the sauce. I need to research this a bit more for next time and buy the right kind.

I have some organic, whole wheat ziti noodles that I am going to try, but I know I'll need to cook some regular spaghetti noodles for Jamie and Elise. I will try to offer the organic whole wheat pasta to Elise first, but I am fully prepared for her to refuse it.

Hopefully it will be yummy. I'll have to come back and let you know what Jamie and Elise think later after dinner tonight. One great thing about this recipe is that Elise will eat it! Most of the things I cook, she refuses to eat. Even stuff that seems really kid friendly! She would rather eat a PB&J or pizza most of the time. I can't wait for her to outgrow that!

1 comment:

Meredith said...

Hey Mellie,

I've learned a thing or two about cooking, especially Italian cooking, after meeting and becoming engaged to my Alex, who grew up in Rome & lived there until 2001 and whose mom is Italian.

I've been thinking of starting a blog myself - about my cooking, my plants, and my house - something like "The accidental housewife"

Funny garlic story!!!

Alex's mom mixes vegetable oil with olive oil b/c it's cheaper and you still get the delicate-ness of the olive oil. It's no problem that you used vegetable oil rather than olive oil. The only time i would say definitely go with olive oil is when you're making a salad or using it on toast b/c then it's obvious whether or not it's olive oil.

Red wine is probably better here b/c it's a red sauce (tomatoes and meat). White wine is used more often with chicken and cream sauces/gravies.

Ok, Alex is home, gotta go make the alfredo :)