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Thursday, September 05, 2013

Grandma Dolly's Spaghetti Sauce

My Italian mother-in-law has been making this spaghetti sauce forever and it's always a treat when she cooks up a big pot.  She usually makes meatballs for her sauce, which are scrumptious, but I use either ground beef or mushrooms instead.  It makes such a huge pot of sauce that I use the leftovers for lasagne, pizza, on breaded and fried chicken cutlets (gluten free breading for me, thanks), and anything else I can think of that needs a red sauce.  Make a note that this not a thick sauce, so if you want it thicker, add less water.  

2 28 oz. cans Tomato Puree (plus 2 cans water)
2 15 oz. cans Tomato Sauce (plus 2 cans water)
2 6 oz. cans of Tomato Paste
About 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper
1 TBLS. Basil
1 TBLS. Parsley 
1 TBLS Sugar (My mother-in-law uses more)
1 TBLS Baking soda (My mother-in-law uses more)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 pound of ground hamburger or 1 pkg. sliced mushrooms for a meatless sauce (I like baby portobello)
Olive oil
Parmesan Cheese (garnish)

Gluten-free spaghetti noodles

People often think that making spaghetti sauce from "scratch" is difficult. It's almost as easy as opening a couple of ready-made jars, but tastes a hundred times better.  It's so simple! The addition of the sugar and the baking soda remove the tart tomato taste and turn this into a more mellow tasting sauce.

First, saute the garlic in a little olive oil. Add the beef or mushrooms to brown. Then add all the other ingredients except the baking soda. Bring to a good simmer, then turn the heat down and let it lightly simmer for 2 or 3 hours (or more). After an hour or so, add the baking soda.  Taste it at this point and see if it needs more seasoning and add more if needed. Sometimes I make this around 1:00 in the afternoon and it cooks slowly all day long, making the house smell heavenly.

Garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Add some gluten-free rolls and a green salad to finish it off nicely.