Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Forgive me Father, for I have sinned.

I have a confession to make. I don't make my own spaghetti sauce. That's right, I buy Jar sauce (Prego is my favorite) and then I add onions and peppers and spices to Doctor it up. Personally I think it is pretty good. My kids never complain in fact my son would just as soon I did not add the onions and peppers to it.
I have TRIED to make it several times before and the results were certainly acceptable. But the truth is, I just did not feel it was SO much better than the Jar sauce to make it worth my time.

So today while I was making my usual rounds on the food blogs I keep up with, One site had spaghetti sauce. It gave the recipe and a link to another blog site with a Sauce recipe. Certain things about each of them sounded yummy. I started thinking. "HMMM, maybe I should give it one more try.
NO, each time I start out with high expectations and am always disappointed!"
But I kept looking at more recipes and persuaded myself to take the leap of faith one more time.
Now most sauces have the same basic ingredients but everyone seems to have there own little twist. I probably looked at about a half dozen recipes and took the things from each that I thought sounded good. From my research it seems that one thing that I have not done in the past is cook it long enough. I am very impatient! Today however I am going to try my best!

1 1/2 hrs into sauce making. NOW I remember another reason that I don't make my own sauce. Have I mentioned that I am a messy cook????? What is it about tomato sauce that makes it cover the WHOLE stove top and half the kitchen? But the sauce looks good. It's thick and has lots of texture however. I burned my tongue when I tried to take a taste of it so honestly ...I can't say how good it is at this point.

2 hrs into sauce making. Ok ..hmmm it should cook at least one more hour ...but I COULD cook up a little spaghetti and "test" it while it continues to cook! Yea...cause then I can see if it needs more spices and salt ...YEA ... I NEED to ...no I HAVE to test it!!!

2 1/4 hrs into sauce making. So far so good! I usually don't like my spaghetti sauce without meat but this has enough texture to be good without it. I do know however that in the end I will probably puree it because my son has a thing about textures and ummm VEGETABLES. I think it needs a bit more garlic and Italian seasonings. Perhaps a TOUCH more wine too. I am glad I tested it. By the way, the wine is excellent!

3 hrs Sauce is DONE. Now for the verdict. The sauce is Great! I am really proud of it. It is the best sauce I have ever made! It is sweet and thick and hearty!Has none of the thin flavor of my past attempts.
I am going to be honest though, it's likely that I am going to still use Jar sauce most of the time. Though this IS better. I would say that it is not 3 1/2 hours better than Jar sauce. I WILL make it again though, probably for special occasions. I think that sauce is best made in big batches that you can or freeze. Likely this is only enough sauce for maybe 2 meals in my house. Perhaps THAT is the secret I missed!

Sindy's Special Sauce
2TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 cup finely chopped Carrots
1 small to med, sweet yellow onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 rib diced celery(with leaves)
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
1/4 cup chopped shitake mushrooms (more to taste ..again, picky son)
1/2 cup Red wine (I used a shriaz/merlot blend)
2 Bay leaves
1Tbs dried oregano
28 oz can Diced tomatoes (with juice)
28 oz can pureed Tomatoes
2 Tbs Tomato paste
1TBS Truffle oil (optional)

Heat oil in large heavy skillet. Add carrots, onions and celery. Cook med/high for about 10 mins until tender and beginning to brown. Add garlic and green pepper. Remove and place in large heavy bottomed pot.(a dutch oven works well) Add a little more olive oil to skillet if dry and sautee mushrooms until they give off their water and begin to brown. Add wine to skillet and scrape bottom of pan. Add wine and mushrooms to vegetables. Add remaining ingredients except truffle oil. Bring up to a boil stirring constantly. Reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for about 3 hours stirring every 10-15 mins. If sauce becomes too thick( starts sounding and looking like a volcano instead of smaller bubbling) add a small amount of water (up to 1/4 cup). When the sauce is done it will be a deeper brownish red. At the end of cooking stir in Truffle oil. This gives the sauce and great earthy flavor !

NOTE:Tune in later for the disaster that follows!!!!!

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