1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
2 29-ounce cans of crushed Tomatoes
2 29-ounce cans of Tomato puree
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
6 ounces red wine (or water)
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon oregano, chopped
1. In a large pot, cover the bottom of the pot in a thin layer of olive oil.
Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute with a wooden spoon until
tender on a low flame.
2. Add cans of crushed tomatoes, puree tomatoes and tomato paste to
pot. Add a little water to the cans and scrape up the insides of the
pans and pour into the pot.
3. Stir the pot on a low flame until the tomato paste is dissolved into the sauce. Add basil, oregano and parsley. Mix well. Add the red wine.
Mix well. Bring to a boil. Lower the flame and simmer for 3 hours, stirring occasionally, partially covering the pot.
4. Optional – ( For a meat sauce – add cooked leftover meat, cut up into
small pieces with seasonings and before bringing to a boil.) (Cooked
spareribs, cooked steak for example become so tender re-cooked in
5. This recipe makes enough sauce for 2 to 4 dinners. Cool sauce down completely and then put into freezer containers for future dinners.
6. ENJOY! – Mangia!
How do you know you are in a home of Italian heritage? It’s very simple. Just open up the kitchen cabinets and, if you find more than 10 boxes of pasta after a brief inspection, you’re home! If you need further proof, head for the freezer (either the one in the kitchen or the other one in the basement) where you’ll discover the rest of the containers frozen with enough sauce to feed a small army at a moment’s notice! Growing up, we had pasta at least three or more times a week. This tradition still holds true in my home. My family always referred to the red tomato sauce as spaghetti sauce. However, many other Italians I know call it gravy. Gravy to me is brown and goes with turkey. But, let’s face it – a rose by any other name is still a rose.
My best memories are of Sundays, with my mom and dad in the kitchen, Big Band music was playing in the background and the sauce was simmering on the stove. I was allowed to test the ravioli before my mom drained the pot. She’d scoop one out and dredge it in freshly grated parmesan cheese for me to eat. Heaven is the only way to describe it. It wasn’t just about the ravioli; it was the presence of my family, the aroma in the kitchen, and the music. It all started with a pot of sauce on the stove on a Sunday!
Spaghetti sauce is made differently by every mother. How many men will say they love their Momma’s spaghetti sauce? My mother’s mother-in-law gave her the secret recipe to my father’s heart — her spaghetti sauce! My mom also shared this legacy with me. It is a basic recipe, which I tend to improvise every time I make it. I happily discover a few years ago when making sauce, that by adding half a bottle of red Merlot wine to it, the taste was infinitely better to cut the thickness than by adding water. Actually, any red wine in your house will do. During the summer months when I grow herbs, I love to add fresh basil, oregano and parsley to my sauce instead of the dried basil, oregano and parsley I use in the winter. Garlic is essential for spaghetti sauce and I use plenty of it. Only use olive oil, never vegetable or other oils. The recipe listed here probably makes 6 to 8 cups of spaghetti sauce. When I prepare sauce, about every 2 weeks, I make 12 to 18 cups, storing the sauce in 2, 3 and 4-cup size containers in the freezer. When making spinach lasagna or stuffed shells, I prepare a thinner sauce to keep these heavy pasta dishes from drying out.
Be generous with your ingredients and your sauce will reflect the love and energy you put into the making of it. And remember, spaghetti sauce isn’t just for Italians! Mangia!