I love recipes with stories, and this one is a doozie.
Once upon a time Proust ate a madeleine and recalled his past in ‘A la recherché du temp perdu’, a gigantic novel
that many have started and few have finished. Kenneth Nesslange reversed the technique: he recalled his past,
most notably a spaghetti sauce made by the mother of his childhood sweetheart, and then created the sauce.
Because he did not marry the sweetheart, the recipe did not come to him by inheritance, and it took years for him to achieve the desired flavor. He was aided by one memory in particular:
the mother had said that she used molasses because “I don’t have to slave over the stove all day, but it will taste like it.”
While molasses can help achieve the brownish red look of a long-cooked sauce, and add a hint of caramel flavor, the rich mélange of meats and herbs deserves some of the credit for the opulent flavor of this sauce. Thanks to Mr. Nesslange of
Santee, CA (in Sunset) for another Top Ten favorite of mine. (If you have an herb garden, feel free to substitute more fresh herbs rather than dried.)
Mama Mia, this is good sauce!