Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spaghetti 3 Ways

Have I really not put up my family's recipes for spaghetti sauce? Sometimes I surprise myself when my flawless memory proves to be otherwise. Regardless, even if I did put them up, I promise the recipe won't be the same, because they are not written down anywhere, until now. My father makes a wonderful tomato sauce, meaty and full of peppers, onions and spices. I based mine off of his but since I'm lazy, shortened it a lot. I'm not sure where my husband got his, whether he based it off of my Dad's or mine or someone else's, or completely made it up; no matter - it's awesome. Serve any of these with a big green salad, a nice red wine, and garlic bread and you have yourself a fantastic meal.

These all make enough for at least four generous servings, plus more for leftovers.

Dirk's Spaghetti Sauce

Olive oil
7 - 8 garlic cloves, chopped small
2 bay leaves
1 TBSP dried oregano
1 1/2 teas. dried basil
1 teas. ground black pepper
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 large green pepper, coarsely chopped
1/2 lb. white mushrooms, sliced
28. oz tomato sauce
28 oz. diced tomatoes
6 oz. tomato paste
1/2 to 3/4 cup dry red wine
1 to 1 1/4 lb. sweet Italian sausage links, cut into 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick pieces
2 TBSP water
1 to 1 1/4 lb. lean ground beef

In a Dutch oven or other high-sided, heavy pot, pour in olive oil until it's 1/4 inch thick and put over low heat.

Add garlic and bay leaves and when it simmers, add oregano, basil, and black pepper. Simmer 5 minutes and then add onion and green pepper. Simmer another 5 minutes and then add mushrooms.

Increase heat to medium and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent, ~ 10 minutes.

Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine and bring to a simmer.

Meanwhile, in a frying pan over medium heat, add sausage and water and cover. Cook for ~ 15 minutes until sausage is grey. While it cooks, pour off any accumulated grease once or twice. When sausage is cooked through (cut into a slice to make sure it's not pink), add to sauce.

In same frying pan, cook ground beef until completely cooked, pouring off grease as needed and stirring frequently, ~ 10 minutes. Add to sauce.

Mix the sauce together well and bring back to a simmer. Taste and add additional seasoning if needed. At this point you can lower heat to very low and simmer for a few hours (or put on a wood stove for a few hours) or turn heat off, cool completely, and refrigerate and eat the next day.

Renée's Spaghetti Sauce

5 links sweet Italian pork sausage, cut into 1/2 to 1 inch chunks
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 teas. dried oregano
1 bay leaf
1 teas. salt
1 teas. ground black pepper
1 28. oz. can tomato sauce
1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
note: you can use 2 cans of either tomato instead of one of each)
1/4 cup red wine
freshly grated parmesan

Saute sausage pieces in a large skillet or high-sided saute pan over medium heat until cooked through, approximately 10 minutes.

Drain off all but a teas. or so of the grease and add in garlic and onions and cook, stirring frequently to avoid garlic burning, until softened and fragrant, approximately 5 minutes.

Add oregano, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook 1 minute.

Add in cans of tomato and wine and stir in. Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered (or with a splatter screen on top to avoid a big mess) for 20 minutes. Taste it and add more salt and/or pepper if needed.

You can eat it now, but it will be much better if you turn the heat down to low and let it gently simmer for up to an hour or two more, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes.

Serve over spaghetti noodles and sprinkle parmesan on top.

Dave's Spaghetti Sauce

2 TBSP olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
1 cup green peppers, chopped
1 cup eggplant, chopped
1 lb. ground beef or ground Italian sausage (you can get links and remove from casing, chopping up with spatula while cooking)
1 teas. dried basil or 1 TBSP fresh, chopped fine
1 teas. dried oregano
1 teas. salt
1 teas. ground black pepper
1/4 teas. crushed red pepper
1/4 cup red wine
28 oz. canned tomato sauce
28 oz. canned tomato purée (chunky is fine)
1 bay leaf

In a deep frying or saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and saute onions and garlic, stirring frequently, until softening, approximately 5 minutes. 

Add mushrooms, peppers, and eggplant and cook until softening, approximately 10 minutes.  

In separate pan, brown hamburger or sausage, approximately 10 to 15 minutes.  

After veggies are sauteed, add spices. Then add wine and canned tomatoes. Add browned meat and bay leaf.  Simmer all afternoon and make your house smell good!

Garlic Bread

This is heavy duty garlic bread. It's not for the faint of heart, anyone on a diet, or people who try to keep butter out of their meals.

1 stick salted butter, softened
1 TBSP garlic powder or 2 TBSP fresh garlic, minced
1 loaf sourdough or white or wheat boule (round shaped) loaf of bread

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

In a small bowl, mush butter with a fork. Add garlic and mush until well-combined.

Slice bread almost but not quite all the way through, leaving enough connected on the bottom so loaf stays together if held carefully. Evenly spread garlic butter on both sides of every slice.

Dust top of loaf with paprika.

Wrap in aluminum foil and bake until nice and hot in the center, approximately 30 minutes.