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Old 04-29-2014, 03:42 PM   #1
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Spaghetti sauce ingredients

I have been making my own spaghetti sauce for years, I have always used fresh herbs, when I could find them, always fresh veggies, onions, peppers, garlic etc; but for some reason i always used canned mushrooms.

I have been reading of late that using metal cans is not such a great idea so I switched to using fresh mushrooms. The initial taste was wonderful and I have to admit I felt rather dumb at not doing this earlier.

When I make my spaghetti sauce I always make at least a double amount so I can freeze some, leaving just enough sauce for that night and tomorrow (as spaghetti is always better the next day! not sure why but to me it is). When I took this batch out still tasted fine but the mushrooms well they left a lot to be be desired. I am not even sure how to describe them they weren't smushy because they were intact, they just didn't taste like anything and they were tough, no longer delicate and light I ended up picking them out of the whole batch!

My question, should I just go back to the canned mushrooms, (it's not spaghetti sauce without mushrooms!) should I saute the mushrooms on the side and then add them in? I could add fresh mushrooms to the newly unfrozen sauce but the mushrooms will miss being part of the sauce for the hour or so they cooked.

Any Suggestions I would really appreciate it!

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Old 04-29-2014, 03:48 PM   #2
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When I make a sauce, I sweat the onion, garlic and mushrooms (and any other fresh veggies like peppers) in olive oil first. Then I go on to adding the other ingredients and finishing the sauce.

Fresh mushrooms will add a great flavor to the sauce. After cooking in the sauce, they will change in texture. If you don't care for the texture of cooked fresh mushrooms, you can chop them in the food processor before adding them to the pan so they aren't as noticeable.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:22 PM   #3
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I do the same as Andy, but I wanted to add that if you like canned mushrooms in your sauce, go for it. It's your sauce.
I use a lot of dried Porchini mushrooms in addition to saute' fresh ones, as I don't care for canned mushrooms.

By the way, welcome to Discuss Cooking!
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:40 PM   #4
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I also add dry porcini with the canned tomato and wine. It really boosts the flavor.
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Old 04-29-2014, 06:57 PM   #5
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Again, I'm with Andy about the wine. I always add drinkable red wine to my sauce. I don't drink red wine, but it must be good enough for Steve to drink. It makes all the difference in a superior sauce.
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Old 04-29-2014, 07:17 PM   #6
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When I freeze sauce with mushrooms they develop a rubbery texture.

I find that if I mince the mushrooms I get the flavor and don't notice the texture change.
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Old 04-29-2014, 08:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vickieg View Post
I have been making my own spaghetti sauce for years, I have always used fresh herbs, when I could find them, always fresh veggies, onions, peppers, garlic etc; but for some reason i always used canned mushrooms.

I have been reading of late that using metal cans is not such a great idea so I switched to using fresh mushrooms. The initial taste was wonderful and I have to admit I felt rather dumb at not doing this earlier.

When I make my spaghetti sauce I always make at least a double amount so I can freeze some, leaving just enough sauce for that night and tomorrow (as spaghetti is always better the next day! not sure why but to me it is). When I took this batch out still tasted fine but the mushrooms well they left a lot to be be desired. I am not even sure how to describe them they weren't smushy because they were intact, they just didn't taste like anything and they were tough, no longer delicate and light I ended up picking them out of the whole batch!

My question, should I just go back to the canned mushrooms, (it's not spaghetti sauce without mushrooms!) should I saute the mushrooms on the side and then add them in? I could add fresh mushrooms to the newly unfrozen sauce but the mushrooms will miss being part of the sauce for the hour or so they cooked.

Any Suggestions I would really appreciate it!
If it's the texture you don't like try making a finely chopped duxelles with the onions. This would alsoadd the flavour of the mushrooms to the sauce.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:39 AM   #8
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I think making a "mother sauce" and freezing it in meal size portions is the best route. Then add fresh ingredients when using it for a meal. Saute the fresh ingredients and add the sauce. Use a spice grinder to finely grind dry porcinis and you will get that "umami" hit to your dish.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:17 AM   #9
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I think making a "mother sauce" and freezing it in meal size portions is the best route. Then add fresh ingredients when using it for a meal.
I think this is a good strategy. Freeze the base sauce and add whatever additional ingredients you want when you're turning it into a meal. This also gives you the flexibility to use your homemade sauce for things other than spaghetti.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:38 AM   #10
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The kids in my family won't eat anything with fresh mushrooms because the mushrooms "squeak" when they eat them. So when I want fresh mushrooms in spaghetti sauce, I saute' them, then chopped them in the food processor and add to the sauce.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:21 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by CraigC View Post
I think making a "mother sauce" and freezing it in meal size portions is the best route. Then add fresh ingredients when using it for a meal. Saute the fresh ingredients and add the sauce. Use a spice grinder to finely grind dry porcinis and you will get that "umami" hit to your dish.
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Originally Posted by Steve Kroll View Post
I think this is a good strategy. Freeze the base sauce and add whatever additional ingredients you want when you're turning it into a meal. This also gives you the flexibility to use your homemade sauce for things other than spaghetti.
This is very good advice and it will make your job in the kitchen much easier and more fun.

I like to make a very large pot (stock pot) full of marinara sauce.
I sweat onions, garlic, and fresh herbs until a bit soft. Garlic and herbs go in last as they can burn very easily.
I then add tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes in the sauted veggies and herbs. Then this is where I add my good drinking red wine and some sugar. I allow the wine to reduce to at least 1/2.
You will end up with a soffrito. The base for the marinara.
Many do not encourage the use of tomato paste. But it helps to give the sauce some body.

I then add a gallon size can of crushed or whole peeled (squeezed by hand or use a food processor) Italian tomato's along with enough water to create the right consistency. Check for seasoning! Salt in particular.
I simmer this for about an hour. Cool it down and my wife puts the sauce into small containers and puts them in our basement freezer.

This marinara is always available to make any dish I choose. In your case you could saute the mushrooms and herbs in olive oil and pour in some sauce and heat through for a perfect mushroom sauce.
If you use dried mushrooms, save the soaking water and add that too.

Good luck and welcome to the forum.
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:34 PM   #12
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...I then add tomato paste and cook it for a few minutes in the sauted veggies and herbs. Then this is where I add my good drinking red wine and some sugar...

RB, I add a sizable amount of tomato paste and sauté it with the veggies until it darkens and starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. The caramelization of the tomato paste brings out its natural sweetness and eliminates the need for sugar to cut acidity.
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Old 05-02-2014, 11:52 AM   #13
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RB, I add a sizable amount of tomato paste and sauté it with the veggies until it darkens and starts to stick to the bottom of the pot. The caramelization of the tomato paste brings out its natural sweetness and eliminates the need for sugar to cut acidity.
Andy. I use two(2) of the small cans for a gallon of crushed or whole canned tomato's. I also use about a pint or more of water. Until the consistency is right.
I do cook the paste long enough for it to color a bit, then the wine.
Without the paste, the marinara would be watery.

I could kill every bad spirit in the universe with the amount of garlic in this sauce. I use a good bit of chopped onion too.
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