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Old 01-07-2009, 05:50 PM   #31
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ok, so ill throw another one at ya, although completely off topic here

Pasta or Noodle

Sauce or Gravy

My aunt called it gravy and my grandmother called them noodles.

When i think of noodles with gravy, i think of egg noodels with some kind of brown gravy on it.

For me, spaghetti and sauce, but i keep an open mind for others
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Old 01-07-2009, 06:03 PM   #32
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While you all know that I normally - ahem - avoid contentious threads, here's my 2 cents.

First off, if you're following a recipe, many sauce recipes are supposed to be thin; others thicker. A fresh tomato sauce isn't supposed to have the same consistency as a long-simmered ragu.

That said, I'm still having problems figuring out why, once your sauce has reached a nice thick consistency you feel a need to thin it out again. This, as others here have said, doesn't make any sense. Is it because a recipe has said you need to simmer the sauce for "x" number of hours & yours is thick much sooner? If that's the problem, screw the recipe. Just use the sauce when it's ready to your taste. I have a lovely ragu recipe that says to simmer for 3 hours. Mine is ready in one hour & I don't feel I'm missing anything by not continuing to cook it for 2 more hours. And if you do want to thin you sauce out a little when it's nearly done, use some broth or some dry red or white wine instead of water. Much tastier result.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:07 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by quicksilver View Post
brown sugar? Italians in my family never heard of that.

I didn't realize the OP was asking for "italian" only tips . And it's always worked very well for me when I make sauces a little to acidic. To each his own I guess.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:23 PM   #34
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the Italian-American side of my family calls red sauce "gravy" only the Sunday Sauce though... pasta is "Macaroni" unless it is spaghetti.

Using a sweetner is typical weather it is wine, sugar whatever... there is no "correct" way to make red sauce... that is one of the beautiful things about it is everybody makes it differently.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:27 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by PanchoHambre View Post
the Italian-American side of my family calls red sauce "gravy" only the Sunday Sauce though... pasta is "Macaroni" unless it is spaghetti.

Using a sweetner is typical weather it is wine, sugar whatever... there is no "correct" way to make red sauce... that is one of the beautiful things about it is everybody makes it differently.

Exactly Pancho. Isn't that why we all love to cook so much? Experimenting and finding out what works best for US is part of the fun. If my favorite "spaghetti" sauce has corn and blueberries in it...welll...who's to say thats wrong...right?

(okay maybe blueberries was taking it too far, ...but you get my point)
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:05 PM   #36
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My friend used to sweeten her sauce by grating, then caramelizing carrots, and adding them to the sauce. Then loads of fresh basil. Probably one of the most memorable sauces ive had. Cant duplicate it and lost contact with her. So it lives on only in my memory
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Old 01-09-2009, 11:41 PM   #37
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For those who make the distinction, what makes pasta different from noodles?
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Old 01-10-2009, 01:00 AM   #38
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If memory serves, it has something to do with Italian "pasta" being made from duram semolina (wheat), where noodles were originally from Asia and made some other milled subtance (which escapes me just now). But even gnocchi and other "dumplings" or items made from dough are loosely referred to as "pasta" in some circles. I have several Italian cookbooks (written by Italians, you naysayers) that refer to pasta as macaroni. Oh ... and I am Italian too. But that doesn't mean I know any more than the next Italian. Human nature -- we only know what we know.
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:16 PM   #39
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How I make Tomato Sauce for Pasta

A couple of tablespoons EVOO in a warm pan

If you want meatballs....make them and fry in this EVOO and remove and place in a bowl.

If you want to add sausage or other meat....saute in this pan with the EVOO and remove an place in a bowl.

Saute onion (about 2 tablespoons) more or less...your taste

GARLIC...fresh about 4 cloves cleaned. NEVER BURN.


Place Tomato Sauce (in our area Hunts) seems to be the best. We use two large cans tomato sauce and one can crushed tomatoes.

Tomato Sauce, cooked onion, cooked garlic. Add basil, parsley (according to taste) at least 1/2 teaspoons of each. Grind black pepper and add.
We do NOT add salt. Most tomato sauce has salt. Sprinkle oregano.

Add a small piece of raw carrot and small piece of raw onion.

Cover and let come to a boil. When it has cooked about 20 minutes.
ADD the meat and simmer 1/2 hour. The sauce will thicken as it cooks.
....with a cover. Tilt the cover a bit to let the steam build up escape.
Add 1/2 to one glass of red port wine.

SIMMER at this stage....NEVER BOIL> AND do not cook more than one hour. ENJOY
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:27 PM   #40
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Originally Posted by larry_stewart View Post
My friend used to sweeten her sauce by grating, then caramelizing carrots, and adding them to the sauce. Then loads of fresh basil. Probably one of the most memorable sauces ive had. Cant duplicate it and lost contact with her. So it lives on only in my memory

Interesting larry... I often add a whole carrot raw but never thought to shred and caramelize... I may try this next time by including it with the initial flavor base saute.
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