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Old 07-11-2005, 11:40 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
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I am wanting to make my own spag sauce, need advice

I found one that we sort of liked but it had rosemary and thyme in it, yuck!!
So I am on a search for a different one w/o those ingred in it and possibly some zuchhini strips in it (growing a ton in my garden).
Does anyone have one that is a "winner"?


Mom to Sean and wife to Jason
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Old 07-11-2005, 12:23 PM   #2
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Fastest Meal

Here's an informal recipe - I'm a 'home' cook, and I often improvise to use up ingredients I have on hand. Hope you can follow this - it's very versatile. Once you've done it, you can play with it a little. I often make this on Mondays and use up things bought on the week-end. Here's the gist:

Ground beef (preferably lean) (at least 1 1/2 lbs)
Onion (1 medium)
Garlic (a few cloves - to taste) or garlic powder (again, whatever's in the cupboard)
Tinned tomatoe sauce, paste or even stewed/crushed tomatoes (whatever's in the cupboard)
and/or even chopped fresh tomato if you have a garden or want to get rid of some that are going soft
Salt, Pepper
Dried oregano
a bit of brown sugar

Get the water going for the pasta (or whatever pasta you're doing)

In a large frying pan or pot (5 qts at least)
Saute the finely chopped oinion & garlic in a bit of olive oil (I had to "hide" the onion when the kids were smaller)
When the onion has softened and turned translucent, add the ground beef and brown, breaking the beef apart with your spoon (I have a wooden one I always use for this part)
When the beef is browned (less than 10 minutes over a high flame), add the tomatoes and seasonings. At this point, I give the sauce a little taste - sometimes the tomato will be bitter, so I'll add just a little bit of brown sugar - but only a little, until it tastes right.
Drop the heat, leaving the sauce to simmer for about 10 minutes or so.

You can add things, like your zuchini, to this recipe (sauteing it with the onion, or adding later, with tomatoes). I've done this with mushrooms, too (tinned or fresh).

The spaghetti sauce seems to get done right about when the pasta is finished cooking and I just drain and plate the spaghetti and sauce (separate bowls) and bring it all to the table. A nice touch is some freshly grated parmesan cheese. I make the garlic toast under the broiler in my oven, buttering some slices of French or Italian bread (usually left over from the week-end) and then adding the garlic on top of that. Hopefully, one of my kids will "volunteer" to make the salad while I'm busy with the rest -Sandyj

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Old 07-11-2005, 12:44 PM   #3
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tomato and basil is very traditional and works with many veggies like zucchini. If you are doing a meat sauce, then sauteing carrots and celery with the basic onion and garlic adds great depth. Again the herb of choice is yours but basil and or oregano is good. Ground fennel seed is a wonderful sweet herb (used in Italian sausage) and works well with sauces using sausage or other meat, as well as many veggies. I never add sugar to my sauce and always let fennel do my sweetening for me. I do like rosemary and saffron in a caciatore, whether a chicken one or a veggie one (peppers, mushrooms, julienne or carrots and various squash. yumm
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:16 PM   #4
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You're suggestions have given me a great idea - I never thought of using celery or carrot in my own version of sauce, but, of course that would add depth.
Wish I didn't have to resort to sweeteing either - but the family doesn't like the taste of fennel (it seems to have a slight licorice taste?). -Sandyj
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Old 07-11-2005, 01:21 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Sandyj
You're suggestions have given me a great idea - I never thought of using celery or carrot in my own version of sauce, but, of course that would add depth.
Wish I didn't have to resort to sweeteing either - but the family doesn't like the taste of fennel (it seems to have a slight licorice taste?). -Sandyj
You don't have to use fennel.

The carrots you saute along with the other veggies will add some of their natural sweetness. Also, consider adding some tomato paste and sauteing it along with the veggies. That adds sweetness as well. I never use sugar or other sweetners in my tomato sauces.
"If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe." -Carl Sagan
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:15 PM   #6
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Mine looks similar to SandyJ's first post, but I add a few tablespoons of butter to smooth it out while it's simmering, as well as a handful or two of grated parmesean or romano.

And when the beef (I usually use turkey) is nearly done browning, I shoot some really good Balsamic vinegar and red wine into the mix and let it simmer together for about 7 minutes before adding the tomatoes (I use a large can of crushed tomatoes, and usually a jar of already prepared sauce - Prego, Ragu, whatever...)

Sometimes at the end, I'll throw in some chopped lemon thyme, rosemary, and a few chopped basil leaves.
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Old 07-11-2005, 02:21 PM   #7
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My favorite way to start a spaghetti sauce is to roast garlic in the oven, and then scoop out however much you need, and add to the sauteed onions. (The rest is spread on your french bread, which is popped into the broiler just before you sit down for your meal)
If you don't have time for that, it's also good to mince up a few cloves of garlic and saute them in a bit of grapeseed oil. Then, add onions, carrots, etc.
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Old 07-12-2005, 10:45 AM   #8
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I made this tomato sauce last summer, and it was outstanding! I put some foil wrapped heads of garlic on the trays with the tomatoes (slice top off, sprinkle with olive oil) and ran it through the food mill with the tomatoes.

Tomato Sauce
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown

Recipe Summary
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Yield: 4 cups
User Rating: 5 Stars

20 Roma tomatoes, halved and seeded
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 cup finely diced onion
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano leaves
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme leaves
1 cup white wine

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In 2 (13 by 9-inch) pans place tomato halves cut side up. Sprinkle with oil, salt and pepper, onion, garlic, and herbs. Bake tomatoes for 2 hours. Check the tomatoes after 1 hour and turn down the heat if they seem to be cooking too quickly. Then turn the oven to 400 degrees and bake another 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and process tomatoes through a food mill on medium dye setting over a small saucepan. Discard skins. Add white wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and cook for 5 minutes.

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