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Old 01-07-2019, 07:23 AM   #21
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On the first part I would add one of those small bottles of red wine...
NO! Get a bottle of a full bodied red, add a glass to the sauce, and drink the rest. As Jacques Pepin would say, Happy Cooking!

I use hot Italian sausage (store brand, billed as lower fat content) with the ground beef, about a third to a half of the total amount of meat. I brown the meats, drain over paper towel, and then saute the onions, etc. Nothing wrong with some diced green pepper if you like. If your sauce has too much acidic bite to your liking, you can add a teaspoon or three of brown sugar to smooth it out.
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Old 01-07-2019, 07:56 AM   #22
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I agree with Andy. On the first part I would add one of those small bottles of red wine, let it reduce down then add the canned tomatoes and sauce. I prefer fresh basil, stems can be removed when sauce is done and I don't use oregano in any Italian red sauce except pizza sauce. I would also add some red pepper flakes to taste as well as a parmesan bone. I'd cook with the lid off and add some unsalted beef stock to thin if needed.
I have a seldom used bottle of red cooking wine. These helpful hints are getting above me real fast.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:12 AM   #23
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Just one more tip?

If you find that your meat sauce is a little greasy with a good amount of visible oil floating on top, you can always turn off the heat so it stops simmering, then use a clean towel (or thick paper towel) to blot off the oil.

I used to have a girlfriend that blotted any oil or fat off of everything. Sauces, pizza, even potato chips were pressed in a paper towel (and then you ate potato crumbs). She was a part time professional dancer, so she was a lttle crazed with keeping in shape. But she was raised in a very traditional Italian American house, so not eating much wasn't an option.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:13 AM   #24
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I happen to have a seldom used bottle of red cooking wine. These helpful hints are getting above me real fast. Please stop!
Throw that away! Don't use any wine that you wouldn't drink! that stuff has way too much salt in it. I also only buy unsalted broth/stock so I control the amount. If you were making a sauce with anchovies, salt is pretty much not necessary.
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Old 01-07-2019, 08:45 AM   #25
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However this turns out, I think I'll be liking having real spaghetti pasta and my attempt at meat sauce.

I'll buy a frozen roll of garlic bread. Packaged bag of mainly romaine lettuce. Ceasar dressing.

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Old 01-07-2019, 09:33 AM   #26
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My mother always used the jarred mushroom pieces in her sauce. I remember grocery shopping with her when I was a little girl and I knew we were having spaghetti when she bought a jar. That stopped as soon as I got out on my own as they are way too salty for me and also have a funky taste to me. Every once in a while, we'll get something in a restaurant that uses them. We don't go back when that happens. I'd rather use fresh brown mushrooms or dried porcini.



As far as fat goes, make the sauce a day or 2 before you intend to use it and refrigerate. The fat will solidify on top and you can just pick it out. Also, sitting gives the flavors a chance to meld and it seems to always taste better.



And you would never catch me putting green peppers in spaghetti sauce.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:08 AM   #27
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Sometimes I add two or three large strips of lemon zest. They add a lovely, subtle "je ne sais quoi". I use large pieces so they are easy to find and remove before eating it.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:18 AM   #28
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Sauce without green pepper would be like sauce without onion and garlic for me. Dried porcini mushrooms (or powder) is also a must in my book.
I have rarely made spaghetti, but I agree that if you like green pepper as I do, there's no reason I can think of not to include it. I may go with a red bell pepper too, because I love the sweeter flavor over the green ones. I do love mushrooms in spaghetti sauce though.

I had a good friend when I lived in Montana whose father immigrated to the US from southern Italy when he was a teenager. He learned to make meat sauce from his mother, and my friend learned from him. I don't know the details, but one thing they did when possible was to harvest mushrooms out on the prairie after a summer thunderstorm. 24 to 36 hours after a storm these big mushrooms pop up through the grass. They have caps that are about 3" in diameter, and when sliced in strips and sauteed and added to a sauce, they were great.

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Thanks for the part about the oregano and basil in order to prevent one or the other from overpowering the sauce. Nothing probably ruins a sauce more than having one herb stand out too much.
I guess that's so, but it still depends on personal preferences. I usually just keep adding them until I like the taste. I like bold flavors, so I may tend to overdo it for some people's tastes, but most of the time, it's just my wife and me, and we both have similar likes in that department.
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Old 01-07-2019, 10:25 AM   #29
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Caslon, This looks like a great starter recipe for spaghetti sauce. I'd take a few of the suggestions that appeal to you and go for it. Definitely don't use the cooking wine, though. Either buy a bottle of something like a Cabernet Sauvignon, or a pack of four small bottles if you don't want to drink the rest. You only need about a cup.

Take notes of what you liked and what you might want to change next time. I love to load up spaghetti sauce with three colors of bell peppers, as well as more onion than most recipes call for. Make it your own and have fun
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Old 01-07-2019, 02:10 PM   #30
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So I just made 10 portions of köttfärsås ( ground beef sauce) today, no wine, no mushroom , no bellpeppers, no sausage , it still taste great and it is very simple sauce.
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