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Old 09-18-2004, 09:24 AM   #1
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Spaghetti sauce...

I'm not a big fan of spaghetti, so I've never made it. A couple who will be visiting next week are real spaghetti hounds, so I'd like to make some for them. Are any of the commercial sauce brands decent (would have to be a major brand, not a botique product since I live in a small town)? If not, does anyone have a good, simple sauce recipe?

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Old 09-18-2004, 09:43 AM   #2
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I like the Classico and Five Brothers brands of commercial sauce. They are available in various concoctions - with mushrooms, extra basil, sun-dried tomatoes, etc. I usually add a lot of fresh chopped onions and garlic to any of these sauces when I doctor them, along with a generous splash of whatever red wine I'm drinking at the moment.

The simplest homemade sauce I know involves starting with garlic in olive oil, then adding plain canned tomatoes and juice, a little Italian seasoning(s), and then simmering patiently until it reaches the consistency you prefer. Good luck.
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Old 09-18-2004, 10:05 AM   #3
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i prefer prego myself. just add some chopped onion and garlic to it.
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Old 09-18-2004, 12:09 PM   #4
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Hey Otter, I make spaghetti sauce at least once a week and my kids devour it (and invite all their friends over too!!) Try this:

1 large can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp minced garlic or 2-3 crushed cloves
1 small tin tomato paste
1 handful brown sugar
shake some oregano, basil, marjoram, salt and pepper into the sauce
splash of wine


Feeds 4 hungry people, so adjust accordingly for more.

The keys to this recipe I have discovered the garlic and brown sugar. The sweetness appeals to nearly every palate. This is a really quick recipe to toss together. Depending on how thick your sauce is you may not need the tomato paste. I just toss it in to thicken things up quickly. If you want chunks of stuff in here, you can toss any chopped veggies in that you like. I have done onions, zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, olives, anything you like. Hope this helps.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:17 AM   #5
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LOL - each one of us will have a different favorite one!!!!! Hunts Traditional in the can tastes more like homemade than any other one. I've tried Prego and many others. I like to add some red wine and make some HUGE meatballs (recipe is on the side of the can of Progresso breadcrumbs). I make HUGE ones though - most men can eat 2, most women just eat one. They are roughly between baseball size and softball size. I saute them on all sides in a skillet first then finish them in the oven then put them in the sauce to flavor the sauce some more.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:35 PM   #6
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I don't know how to relate to someone who has never made spaghetti! Classico is a very tasty commercial brand. My supermarket also has a great sauce by Bove's (of Vermont) but it may be because I'm in nearby New Hampshire. The ingredients are few and fresh - they probably sell to more local states. Your area may do the same. So look at brands that are not sold across the country and check the ingredients. You may have a company nearby that has a great sauce.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:45 PM   #7
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do a search for a simple pomodoro sauce that uses whole canned tomatoes. try and find a simple and basic one (the recipe should only call for the tomatoes, olive oil, garlic, wine, mire poix-type vegetables, fresh herbs, etc.). When you make this recipe, be sure you get canned San Marzano tomatoes (you should be able to find it at any Italian or gourmet market). Those tomatoes are the key to making a great red sauce.
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Old 09-19-2004, 01:51 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ironchef
When you make this recipe, be sure you get canned San Marzano tomatoes (you should be able to find it at any Italian or gourmet market). Those tomatoes are the key to making a great red sauce.
My supermarket now carries a new Pastene tomato that says it's San Marzano. I used to order them on line from a place in Boston, but would Pastene lie?
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Old 09-19-2004, 03:10 PM   #9
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3 cans whole tomatoes, drained
place in bowl and crush with fingers (keep this juice)
1/4 cup chopped garlic (the store-bought is OK for this)
1/4 cup plus 2 TBS olive oil
1/4 cup Chianti or Burgundy
1/2 tsp. salt (more or less to taste but if it tastes like it is lacking something add a tad more salt - this will help immensely)
1/4 tsp. pepper or to taste
1 box of fresh basil cut chiffonade*
3 kalamata olives per person, seeded

Heat the olive oil on low and add the garlic. Let cook on low until the garlic imparts a strong flavor in the oil, add the crushed tomatoes with the juice and the juice they create along with the wine and cook over medium-low heat until some of the liquid evaporates. This should take about 30 minutes so don't cook too fast, this is where a lot of the flavor comes from. About 10 minutes into this process add the kalamata olives. When done (should be fairly dry but not too dry, take off the heat and add the fresh basil. Let cool on counter then refrigerate until ready to use. You can make this the day before or just the morning before. (Just be sure that you see plenty of fresh basil, if not you need to add more).

Heat sauce, add cooked angel hair and toss. Take tongs to remove the angel hair and place in center of each plate in a nice high pile, add the remaining sauce to this pile and top with the kalamata olives and fresh-grated Parmesan cheese.

*Chiffonade is when you stack the leaves in a pile (if right-handed stack with stems on left-hand side). Roll up like a cigar and slice in 1/4" cuts.
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:30 AM   #10
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chesterchippy, I've just never had spaghetti that I really liked, and I've eaten at some Italian restaurants that were supposed to be really good. Love lasagna, tho.
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Old 09-20-2004, 09:32 AM   #11
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I have to agree with kitchenelf on the Hunts Traditional. I add ground beef, garlic, fresh oregano, & mushrooms to give it a fresher flavor.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:32 PM   #12
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Well, I'm loaded for bear! Everything was conveniently on sale this week - I picked up canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste if I want to go the scratch route and Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti Sauce if I get cold feet. I'll probably go with the prepared sauce initially and experiment on the scratch stuff when we don't have company. Stouffer's Lasagna was on sale too, so I picked up some of that.
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Old 09-21-2004, 02:47 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Otter
Well, I'm loaded for bear! Everything was conveniently on sale this week - I picked up canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste if I want to go the scratch route and Hunt's Traditional Spaghetti Sauce if I get cold feet. I'll probably go with the prepared sauce initially and experiment on the scratch stuff when we don't have company. Stouffer's Lasagna was on sale too, so I picked up some of that.
Once you get a good sauce down pat you won't have to buy that Stouffer's rubber anymore. We still buy it for nights when we're too lazy to cook, but I'm getting less and less able to eat it. We still like the Spinach Souffle, tho. It's the only way I can get my daughter to eat spinach.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:04 PM   #14
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Crewsk,

One time try your spaghetti with ground pork instead of beef - it has a really, really nice flavor.
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:06 PM   #15
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I'll try that kitchenelf. Thanks!
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Old 09-21-2004, 03:56 PM   #16
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We use Italian sausage instead of beef most of the time. Just squeeze it out of the casings into a frying pan. Tastes really good, and a fun tactile sensation too.
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:05 PM   #17
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I love Italian sausage too mudbug!!! One time I used up remnants to include chicken, pork country ribs, and Italian sausage. Sauteed some onions and green pepper, added the various meats and cooked, added all the appropriate seasonings along with a good healthy dose of some kind of red wine (can't remember anymore), and served this over pasta. It was great!!
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Old 09-21-2004, 04:11 PM   #18
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kitchenelf, my neighbor in graduate school was an Italian girl from joisey. She always put an assortment of meats (like yours) in her sauce, as well as chopped carrot to add sweetness. Cooked it all day. I practically lived over there.
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:54 PM   #19
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mudbug, I plan on being buried the Viking way - in my boat with an ample supply of Stouffer's lasagna. I just love the stuff!
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Old 09-22-2004, 01:58 PM   #20
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Picturing you in the ship, Otter :) My Stouffer's fave is their mac and cheese - I can eat the "family" box all by myself.
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