Spaghetti Sauce, Italian style.

I had an Italian friend once who shared her secret of great spaghetti sauce. I’ve added some variation, but this is basically her method. The sauce is amazing, simple, and tastes like Italy to me.

I started with fresh tomatoes. Here’s the cool thing about Texas. My first crop of tomatoes (end of June) didn’t do much. So I neglected my plants, only to find them last week bearing hundreds of green tomatoes in a second bumper crop. Wow! So I picked them all, knowing the freeze would kill them, and brought them indoors. They’ve been ripening in the light ever since.

They’re not pretty, but they taste amazing. For this recipe, I used about 3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes and one can of store bought tomatoes, cut up in their juices.

To begin, saute one large red onion in olive oil. Wait until the onion caramelizes (browns), then add six cloves of pressed garlic. Stir until garlic cooks through.

Here’s the secret: Add one can of tomato paste to the mixture and cook until the paste just starts to brown. This gives the sauce a smokier flavor.

Add your tomatoes and canned tomatoes plus 1/2 cup red wine. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cook until tomatoes are soft, 1/2 hour. Then with a hand blender, pulverize the sauce. At this point you can serve as is, or add a handful of fresh basil.

Here’s the end product. Very fresh, tomatoey goodness!

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