I may be the only person on the planet that has never made homemade spaghetti sauce, but there you have it. I made it recently and we loved it so much I had to do an encore. While I don’t have a firm recipe, I wrote down what I did the first time and used it for a guideline the next time. In spite of little changes, it was delicious both times. I feel a little silly blogging about something so commonplace, but maybe there’s someone else out there that just gets it from a jar and has no clue what they’re missing.
To start, I chopped my onion, garlic and peppers
The garlic was the last few cloves from last summer’s crop. It had to be photographed . . . I will miss the beautiful pink-skinned cloves. (a moment of silence, please)
Additionally, I rinsed (and rinsed and rinsed) the dried mushrooms. There was no need to further rehydrate since they would be simmering for hours.
Once everything was chopped, I sautéed the veggies in olive oil (with a little butter for added flavor) until they started to soften; then added the Italian sausage and broke it up to sauté with the veggies. While that was cooking, I snipped the mushrooms with scissors into the mix. (they’re a little rubbery, so scissors work perfectly)
When the meat was completely browned, I added the canned tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 can of water and 4-6 ounces of red wine – but added more later when I was refining the sauce. As I said, this is more of a guideline than a strict recipe – taste is such a personal thing. My taste buds like wine.
Once everything is well combined, it’s time to season. I started with a dry Italian mix that has oregano, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, savory & sage. Some people like to add sugar to their sauce, I do not.
And since you can’t take the Texas out of the girl, I added a shake or two of chile flakes and ground black pepper to make it zippy. Add a teaspoon of salt and stir. Resist over-salting because it will get saltier when the sauce has reduced.
Bring to a boil and then let the sauce simmer, covered at low temp for about an hour so that the sausage seasoning seeps into the sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed and continue to simmer, covered for a couple of hours. At this point, remove the cover and let the sauce thicken if necessary.
My recipe Guidline for Spaghetti Sauce
1 lb Italian sausage (hot or sweet according to your taste)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste
1 onion diced
3-4 cloves garlic diced
2 cups dehydrated mushrooms or 2 cups fresh sliced mushrooms
Red wine to taste – about 1/2 to 1 cup (ish . . . esque)
Water as needed
1 cup of diced red, green and or yellow pepper
2 -3 Tbsp dry Italian seasonings
1 tsp red chile flake (optional)
1 Tbsp sugar (optional)
Fresh ground pepper
(Don’t forget spaghetti noodles and parmesan)