FAMOUS SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Dr. Gerald Keep, Annoyed Scientist, 12/4/2019
This is my current version of Famous Spaghetti Sauce. It may differ from Nic’s version of Famous Spaghetti Sauce because mine has drifted over the years. This still brings in people for our church service auction. Don’t eat too much though, you need to know when to stop, or else! You can put this over any kind of pasta, or use it as the sauce in making Lasagna. A sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese over the top is usually welcome.
This is based on 2 pounds of ground meat. Beef is common but I’ve found it’s better if you sub one or both pounds with Italian sausage – one sweet and one spicier. You can use turkey, but have to make up for the missing fat with extra oil to bring out the taste. If you have something like ground lamb, there are better things to do with it…
You can do a veggie version of this with no meat, but then definitely add a bunch of oil to carry the flavor and add a can of garbanzo beans (chick peas) for protein. You can also drop the carbs by putting it over spaghetti squash (roast until soft and stringy).
Start with your biggest stock pot, a big glug of olive oil in the bottom, and the meat (preferably defrosted) on about ¾ setting on the stovetop. Stir and chop with a heavy metal spatula (if you have a no-stick stockpot, do this in a skillet then transfer it)until you get the size you want. Bigger sizes are sort of ersatz versions of meatballs.
Next add the crispy veggies – one whole onion diced (Nic, this is a place red onion doesn’t look as appealing, but they work), two if they’re small, and at least ½ dozen cloves of garlic pealed and diced very fine.
As they cook, add mushrooms (canned or fresh sliced), olives (sliced is better, save ½ can for the salad), and garbanzos if you want them.
When the onions look soft, add the herbs at the last minute while still oil-hot. This extracts oil-soluble flavors that might not be water soluble in later stages.
Spoons each of oregano, sage, oregano, rosemary (break it up), oregano, thyme, oregano, basil, oregano, and 4 bay leaves (count them so you can count as you fish them out later – don’t eat). Just kidding on the oregano, but it should dominate the others.
Pinches each of ground mustard, curry, cayenne (or paprika for wimps), salt, & pepper.
Now dump in the tomato products. If you’re using real tomatoes, you are in for a very long haul. Otherwise, you’re looking to add equal number of cans (2-4) each of whole/diced, sauce, and paste. Nothing should be pre-seasoned. Turn the stove down to ¼ power. Now is the time to add a good glug of molasses.
Early on you should “titrate” the mix of tomato products as you fill up the stock pot. If it is too pale, you need more paste. Too thick, add more whole/diced tomato, which will release water as it cooks and softens. If it’s just right, add sauce to extend it and fill the pot.
Once it is threatening to boil over, turn it down very low, put a screen over it, and let it simmer a couple hours while you worry about the rest of the dinner. You will have to stir it from time to time; if it burns, don’t scrape the bottom – transfer to a new pot or three! Tasting each time gives you an extra incentive to not forget. Yum. Tossed salad and garlic bread are pretty traditional accouterments for dinner.
I’ve been told I should bottle and sell this stuff. Can’t go worse than my attempt to bottle and sell cleaning products, and much, much tastier!