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Old 03-28-2005, 06:17 PM   #31
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I swear by Michael Chaiarello's mom's tomato sauce. You don't have to go by it exactly as far as spices, but I like the process in which he makes it, by reducing the tomato juice and intensifying the flavor before adding the tomato pulp. This recipe is very fresh and simple.

I used this sauce the other day in his puttanesca pasta and it was spectacular.

My Mother's Tomato Sauce

(Makes about 3-1/2 cups)

1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 bay leaf
Sea salt, preferably gray salt, and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh oregano


Open the can of tomatoes and pour the juice into a bowl. Use the lid to press against the tomatoes to extract as much juice as possible. Put the tomatoes in a separate bowl, then use your hand to squeeze the tomatoes to a pulp. Reserve the juice and pulp separately. Fill the empty can half full with water and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Add the tomato juice and bring to a boil. Simmer rapidly until the juice thickens, then add the crushed tomato pulp, the half can of water, the bay, and salt and pepper to taste. Adjust the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally to prevent scorching, until the mixture thickens and reduces to about 3 1/2 cups, 30 to 45 minutes, adding the oregano halfway through. Discard the bay leaf.


Go Sooners
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Old 03-28-2005, 11:18 PM   #32
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Okay guys the ordeal is over. Let me tell you, this was the most amazing spaghetti dinner ever. By far the best it's ever came out for me, and my girlfriend agrees. I want to thank you all for your input. Just to put it on the record, here is exactly what i did.

I cooked 1.25 lbs of Ground Round Beef, seasoned with salt, pepper, and some worchestershire. I then drained.

I sauteed 3 cloves of garlic in 2 tablespoon olive oil, for 3 minutes.This was on low heat.

I added finely chopped onion and bellpepper, about 3/4 of the full vegetable each. I sauteed for about 8 minutes, until onion started to clear. This was on medium heat.

I added one small can of imported Tomato paste, and cooked on medium, until paste darkened.

I added 1/3 cup of Merlot Rosemount Estates wine, and about 1/4 cup of Juices from Soaking Porcini mushrooms.

I added 1 28 oz can of Muir Glen whole tomatoes, crushed by hand.

I added in .5 OZ of Rehydrated Porcini Mushrooms(bought them dried.

I added good sized amount, on the wing, of Ground Sea Salt, and Ground Black Pepper.

I added a pinch of Dried Thyme.

I added a couple pinches of Cayenne Pepper.

I stirred frequently, and cooked the sauce for around 2 hours.

For the last 10 minutes, i added in half a bunch of Fresh Basil.

I served with home made garlic bread and thin spaghetti cooked al dente.

IT WAS DELICIOUS, and my best ever, and thanks to all of you.

Any reccomendations, comments, critiques?

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Old 03-29-2005, 07:22 AM   #33
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Old 03-29-2005, 07:51 AM   #34
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I would usually use carrot, celery, onion and garlic (all finely diced). Sweat these of over a very low heat, as you don't want the colour or bitterness that a high heat will produce. Add enough dry red wine to cover the vegetables and a splash of balsamic vinegar (for richness) then blend to a puree. Remove this puree then brown mince (hamburger?), mince should contain a little fat as the low/no fat varieties will collapse and leave your sauce with no body. Add the puree back into the pot and then add tomatoes (fresh is best but tinned will work fine), torn oregano and basil leaves, a little nutmeg, a pinch of sugar (this rounds out the acidity in the tomato) and plenty of ground white pepper and sea salt flakes. Try this recipe, even though it may seem a little more complicated the results will wow even the most Italian of MOMA'S.
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Old 03-29-2005, 11:18 AM   #35
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<--- You

If you liked it, I would not change a thing, except maybe trying new herbs (eg, oregano, parsley) or other small touches (adding fresh musrooms, subbing half pork for half the beef, etc) until you think you have perfected it.
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:03 PM   #36
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Sounds like you had a great dinner!

My only advice would be to make a double batch next time! LOL!!!
In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. Robert Frost
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Old 03-29-2005, 01:57 PM   #37
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good deal legs!!!! sounds like you made a spicy meat sauce.like jennyema said, now you are ready to try small tweaks to see how it changes your sauce. you'll eventually find a few combos that you like, and the types of meats and pastas that they go well with.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:09 PM   #38
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Over the years, I had to tweak my sauce due to problems with my stomach and with spices. For some reason, as I have aged, I can't take much spice anymore with digestive issues.

So my sauce has become milder and a tad sweeter.
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Old 03-29-2005, 02:14 PM   #39
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The only spagetti that I make that is different than what's mainstream is something I picked up from my sister... using a lot of fresh veggies including carrots, onions, celery, garlic, squash and whatever else I have on hand. I havent made this kind in like 2 years though... most americans I've had taste it react very negatively to all those veggies with their ground beef.
My english, she's not so good... I meant to say I did it with the malice of forethought.
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Old 03-29-2005, 10:45 PM   #40
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What a fantastic thread! Plenty of good ideas here.

I make different sorts. Spaghetti Bolognese is what it is called here, a red pasta sauce with ground beef and chopped veggies. There are so many ways to cook 'red' sauce.

My favorite to make is with fresh tomatoes, garlic, onion, zucchini, fresh basil and shavings of peccorino.

This is then served with the really fine spaghetti.

During the work week I have been known to buy a jar of prepared sauce and add to that. It is of course nothing like what Mom used to make!


"A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness"----Ella Schiaparelli
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