Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

We usually make our own homemade pasta when making spaghetti, but the day got away from us this time, so we had to use packaged spaghetti.  One of these days we’ll blog about how to make your own spaghetti using a Chitarra.  So if you don’t have one yet, run out and get one before we blog!  Oh, and good spaghetti sauce takes all day, so start early, open a bottle of wine, and don’t get in a hurry.  This recipe serves 8 – 10 people.

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
1 lb. Italian Sausage, skins removed
olive oil
8 oz. Baby Portabella or white button mushrooms, stems removed, peeled & sliced
2 large cloves of garlic, smashed & minced
1 large zucchini or yellow squash, coarsely chopped
1 quart (48 oz.) stewed whole tomatoes (we use our own canned tomatoes)
8 oz. tomato sauce
6 oz. tomato paste
2 cups sweet peppers (we use a variety from the garden) coarsely chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 fresh fennel bulb (tops and bottom trimmed off), coarsely chopped
1 large or 2 medium onion, chopped
1 tbl. fresh parsley, chopped
2 bay leaf (whole)
1 tsp. fresh oregano, chopped
2 tsp. fresh basil, chopped
1 large sprig fresh rosemary (whole)
¼ cup sherry
2 tsp. sugar
¼ cup water (if needed)
2 tbl. Parmesan cheese

We use lots of home-grown and fresh ingredients in our Spaghetti Sauce, including our own canned tomatoes.

·         Add 2 tbl. of olive oil to a large Dutch oven and heat to just below medium
·         Add the sausage, breaking it up with a wooden spoon or fork, and cook until no longer pink, about 6-7 minutes
·         Add the garlic, onions, celery, peppers and fennel and increase heat to medium
·         Cook, stirring often, for about 15 minutes
·         Add the mushrooms and cook & stir another 5 minutes
·         Add the herbs, whole tomatoes and tomato sauce (not paste yet), squash and bay leaf and stir together well
·         Add the sherry and sugar (if it seems to thick you can add a bit of water at this point)
·         Reduce heat to medium-low, cover (but leave the lid cracked) and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring often
·         Uncover and add the tomato paste and rosemary sprig, stirring the rosemary around in the sauce for a few minutes, then remove and discard the rosemary
·         Keeping covered with the lid cracked, cook another 1 ½ hours, stirring often (the sauce should be fairly thick, but if you think it’s getting too thick you can add a little water at this point)
·         Stir in 2 tbl. Parmesan cheese and mix well
·         Keep warm on the stove until you are ready to serve over pasta.  Enjoy!

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