This year Glenn and I are going to focus on sauces. The right sauce can make a dramatic difference in almost any meal. Honestly how many of you out there go to the grocery store and buy a jar of sauce that can enhance your pasta.
The recipe that follows can be adjusted as you would like, which we will get to at the end. I grew up in an Italian family in New York and tomato pasta sauce was a staple. The recipe that follows is a basic recipe that you can cook within one hour or as long as eight. If you are cooking for 8 hours make sure you have meat in the sauce! The meat adds a richness and depth of flavor.
3-28oz cans of Tomatoes (any brand you choose) Red Wine
3-6 oz cans of Tomato Paste Beef Broth
1 large Onion chopped Olive Oil
3 cloves of garlic minced
3 Tbs Oregano
1 tsp Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
Meat of your choice
(Italian Sausage, Meatballs, Beef Short Ribs- my preference)
Brown meat in a large pot with olive oil. Once the meat is browned removed from the pan, add a touch more oil and add onions. Sauté onions until translucent approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, oregano, black pepper and salt, sauté for about two minutes to deepen their flavors. Deglaze the pan with about ¼ cup of red wine and let reduce (if you do not want to use red wine substitute with beef broth). Lower the heat and add the tomatoes and tomato paste. At this point use a hand blended and blend all ingredients in the pot. The sauce will be thick so you will want to thin the sauce with some beef broth, this will be your choice and by eye. Once blended return ribs or sausage back to the pot (if cooking for extended period) if not add meatballs at this time, any longer than an hour and the meatballs will become too soft. Let simmer on low heat up to eight hours.
An hour before finishing you can add items like sliced olives, mushrooms, red pepper flakes or any items you choose. Serve over thick pastas like rigatoni or ziti; sprinkle with grates parmesan cheese and enjoy. You can put the rest in small containers to enjoy anytime you’re feelings like a little Italian!
Ciao, Glenn and Glenn