Saturday, January 16, 2010

Basic Spaghetti Sauce

I read that in the Italian-American communities, they call their basic pomodoro sauce "gravy" because just like gravy, they use the sauce to flavor different kinds of food for Sunday dinner. They use it for bread, pastas, risotto or meat dishes.

There are so many gravy recipes online, but I find that the easiest and the simplest recipe is the best tasting and the secret really is the cooking. Slow cooking is the best as it really brings out the goodness of the wine, tomatoes and spices.

So gather up the ingredients for the basic tomato sauce!

5-7 super red tomatoes, diced
-Again if you can find Roma or San Marzano tomatoes, use them. They're most probably pricier, but it's worth it!
1 small onion, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced/grated
1 small pack tomato paste
1/4 cup red wine
2 Italian sausage links
-I didn't use it for this batch though, but I would next time
10 green olives, sliced
-Fresh oregano is good, but dried is okay
Chili powder
5 Basil leaves, torn by hand
Grated cheese, any hard cheese is good like parmigiano reggiano or grana padano
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Start with sauteing the sausage in olive oil. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant but not brown. Remove garlic from pan. Saute onions until translucent then add the tomatoes. Saute that and pound on it a bit. Add the olives and stir until everything looks good. Add the red wine and a bit of water.

Add the tomato paste, oregano, chili powder and season with salt and pepper. Always remember to add a little at a time. Salt is hard to take out.

Here you start to stew it. Put the heat on low and just allow it to gurgle away for 2-3 hours. If the sauce thickens too much, water it down with a some red wine or water.

During the last hour of cooking time, add the grated cheese and continue cooking. If you have an immersion blender, you can use that to make the sauce smoother.

Cook pasta to al dente and serve! Top with more cheese. We paired this nice meal with glasses of red wine and it worked great!

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