Today is Spaghetti Day. We generally make fresh noodles, which is a real treat. The kids love to help me make pasta almost as much as they like eating it, and DH seems to enjoy it a lot, too. That is, when the pasta is good. Last week, I was lazy and didn’t separate the noodles well before drying them. We ended up with giant clumps of corrugated pasta board. Note to self: separate the noodles. Or don’t dry them out as much. Or find a different noodle recipe. Or something.
Our sauce is more like a chili than what you get with the jarred stuff. It’s very thick and also chunky, but still saucy enough to compliment the noodles. For fun, I thought I’d post the sauce recipe here. The ingredients are what I use, with optional items in parentheses.
Thick Meat Sauce for Pasta
- 1# fresh bulk pork sausage <– can use spicy for extra ZING
- 2 (organic) carrots, peeled* and either shredded or in small chunks. Chunked is interesting.
- 1-2 smallish yellow onions, peeled* and diced
- 1-3 cloves of garlic, peeled* and minced
- a handful of mushrooms, finely diced
- 1 28-oz can (Muir Glen ground) tomatoes, undrained
- 1 28-oz can (Muir Glen) chunky tomato sauce
- 1 15-oz can (organic) diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 cup of beef stock or water
- (splash of red wine)
- 1-2 bay leaves
- 1 T dried basil
- 1 T dried parsley
- 1-3 t dried oregano
- black pepper
- kosher salt
*Don’t forget to save your peels in a freezer bag for when you make stock.
In a heavy-bottomed pan (I use an 8-qt stainless steel soup pot), heat a small amount of olive oil. Add the sausage and brown it for a few minutes. When it’s no longer raw but not quite golden, add the carrots and onion. Let them cook until the sausage is browned nicely and the veggies are soft. Now add the garlic and mushrooms and cook for just a minute, until they’re aromatic. Lightly salt the pot with kosher salt. Add the tomatoes and sauce, and stir well. Slowly pour in the water or stock, and add a splash of red wine if you want it. Bring the pot nearly to a boil (watch out- boiling tomatoes get messy and dangerous if they splatter) and then turn the heat down to low. On my gas cooktop, I have to turn it down as far as it will go to simmer properly. You want the pot to bubble occasionally. Simmering is an art that I still haven’t fully mastered, so take that for what it’s worth.
After a while- 20-30 minutes- add the spices. Taste and add more salt, if needed, and some freshly-ground black pepper. Cover with a well-fitting lid. Now you can let the sauce cook as long as you like. If your carrots are chunky, you might want to go longer so they’re nice and soft. I usually cook mine for about 2 hours total. Just be sure to stir it regularly so nothing sticks on the bottom.
By the way, here’s our pasta:
Sorry, we don’t have any reservations available for dinner tonight. Maybe next Spaghetti Day.