Spaghetti Sauce (seriously that's all this is)
Well gentle readers, here we are again. If you are not opposed, I’ll start with the easy way once again. To make this simple feast, boil some water. Add pasta and cook for 7 minutes. Drain noodles. Open jar of your favorite sauce. Put it in a bowl. Nuke for two minutes. Pour sauce over noodles. Add miscellaneous white cheese. Season with tears and broken dreams. All red sauces taste the same after three glasses of wine anyway.
I have a better solution. Though seriously, pasta all does taste the same after the first bottle. Yet, on to the ingredients:
- ½ pound of ground sweet Italian sausage (it comes in pound form, save the other half for meatloaf)
- Two spoonfuls of crushed garlic (my measuring spoons won’t fit in the jar), or two fresh chopped cloves.
- A large can of crushed tomatoes, not the Costco can, but the big can (heh heh, big can). Had to google-machine it; use the 28 oz can.
- One Tablespoon Sugar
- A large pinch of Oregano
- A large pinch of Basil
- A bay leaf
- A smaller pinch of red pepper flakes
- A chunk o’ parmesan the size of your cell phone. Grate half. Leave the other half in hunk form.
- Some splashes of decent red wine
- Salt and Pepper to taste
- ½ pound of pasta
Brown your sausage in a large pan, pot, whatever, over medium heat. When the pink is almost gone, add the spoonfulls of garlic. I know I said spoonfulls. Yes, you can you the fresh stuff. Dang it. Earlier I mocked you for use of sauce out of a jar. Now, I immediately go to jarred garlic. Apparently, my hypocrisy knows no bounds. I'm not opposed to real garlic. I just didn't have any left. I'm a terrible garlic tender.
You could use onions too. I was once told by a very large Italian lady that you should never use onions and garlic together in a dish. She had a wooden spoon. So, I am programmed to listen. You can ignore that advice at your peril.
Cook the sausage and garlic two more minutes. Leave out the grated cheese, but add the hunk of cheese and everything else. Maintain a slow simmer and just relax. Let the flavors meld together and the hunk of cheese ooze into every pore of your sauce. Let it get nice and red and thick and bubble its way into awesome perfection. It’s yoga for your soul, albeit manly yoga.
Simmer for at least 20 minutes. If you are so bold, double the recipe and keep an eye your liquids and your heat. If it gets too thick, add some stock or more wine. Be sure you don’t burn it. Let it slowly cook for hours. The sauce will be as patient as you are.
Whenever you like, start the water on super high. Salt the water. It should taste like the sea. I read that somewhere. Personally, I think the sea tastes like a sweaty Abe Vigoda. Again, do what you will. We’ve howdy’d but we ain’t shook yet.
As an aside, I am not the world’s greatest food photographer. In my picture, I do prominently display my boxed garlic bread, not boxed wine and a fork I probably bought at a yard sale. I get it. Look at that great fork…
I put a wooden spoon over the top of the pot to try and control the chaos of boil-overs. Add your pasta to the rapidly boiling water. At the same time, put your garlic bread from a box in the oven. The pasta and garlic bread should finish about the same time – 7 minutes or so. The pasta is done when it tastes done. It should have a little tiny crispy middle. That’s al dente. I can never get it right. Throw it against the wall. It really doesn’t tell you anything but it’s oddly satisfying.
Drain and plate your noodles. Remove bay leaf from sauce and spoon the sauce over your pasta. Top with that freshly shredded parmesan. Serve with garlic bread and a salad. I do my salad with a touch of balsamic vinegar, olive oil, croutons and some of that grated parmesan.
Incidentally, you do have a bottle of wine minus a few splashes. True story.