CULINARY CORNER / On to spaghetti sauce


Welcome to my little corner of culinary delights.  Now, we can begin with making the spaghetti sauce.  

I have my own spaghetti sauce recipe that I think is best.  I keep it a secret, sorry.  However, I will use one that I feel you will enjoy.  It is easier to make.

A true Italian spaghetti sauce is made from fresh ingredients mixed with perfection along with proper timing.  Traditionally, only a wooden spoon can be used for stirring, and to simmer for two minutes after the final herbs are added.  If meat is added, it should be well cooked and flavorful.  Adjust herbs and seasoning according to the type of meat used.  Personally, I would avoid hamburger with its crude flavor and its grease that kills the delicate effect of the olive oil.

One other thing I would avoid is packages of premixed spices advertised for spaghetti sauce.  You need to control each herb and spice dependent upon other ingredients, such as the type of meat, if any meat is added.  Just because it is labeled as “authentic Italian mix” does not make it so.  Be a chef, be proud of your results, and do it all yourself.  Do not buy it done for you.

The making of authentic, traditional Italian spaghetti sauce is no longer dependent upon one type.  All ingredients are to be fresh, with a few exceptions, and expertly prepared.  If you want to use a recipe that calls for tomato puree or tomato sauce, it is best to make you own from ripe, fresh tomatoes.  Keep ingredients refrigerated.

For this recipe, I can recommend canned tomatoes, provided you can get San Marzano brand; 28 ounces worth.  If not, then equivalent amount of fresh, peeled plum tomatoes seeded and chopped smallish.  Heat three or four tablespoons of pure olive oil in a saute pan, and cook a small, minced carrot.  After the carrot cooks a little, add two minced shallots, one celery rib, minced, and two tablespoons of finely minced fresh, Italian parsley (flat-leaf).  Then, add two large cloves of garlic, finely minced, and cook until you can smell that pleasant garlic aroma.  Add two tablespoons of tomato paste, and cook until it acquires a brownish color.

Transfer into a saucepot, and add the tomatoes and juice.  Simmer to gently thicken.  Stir occasionally.  Once it has reached the proper thickness, mix in about ¼ cup of finely chopped fresh basil.  Let this simmer for about five minutes more while adding a pinch of salt and white pepper to taste.  Add about one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil for taste.  Use a submersible blender if too chunky.

Once complete, cool quickly in an ice water bath, put into a storage container and refrigerate.  Sauce can be stored for about five days under refrigeration.  This produces about three cups worth of sauce.

Best served cold over hot spaghetti.

Until next time, peace to all.

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