Prep 20 mins
Cook 6 hrs
This is one of my many versions of spaghetti sauce. This one is quick to prepare and best if left to simmer for 6 hours or more. Also, it calls for red wine. I strongly recommend Merlot or Cabernet sauvignon. Also: DON'T get the cheap kind that you wouldn't dare drink. After all, if you put that icky stuff in your sauce--what do you really expect to get out of it! Besides, its always nice to have a small glass of wine while enjoying the aroma of the sauce cooking!
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 carrots, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 58 -72 1⁄2 ounces canned Italian stewed tomatoes
- 3 -4 bay leaves
- 1⁄4 cup oregano
- 1⁄4 cup parsley
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
- 3 tablespoons basil
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- fresh ground black pepper
- 2 cups red wine
- parmesan cheese, block not sprinkle can
- olive oil, just enough to coat your pan
- salt (I don't usually use any) (optional)
- 1 loaf French bread
- olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced well
- aluminum foil
- In a nice large pot WITH a secure lid start up your stove top and place in just enough olive oil to coat pan.
- Start off by sautéing the garlic, carrots, and celery for a few minutes You dont want they cooked however. Just enough to start the process. Then add the two cans of S&W Italian Stewed Tomatoes. It is important that you use Italian Stewed Tomatoes (preferably S&W brand if you can) rather than canned tomato sauce as it will effect the taste a great deal. If you cant find Italian Stewed Tomatoes -- just wing it. Make it your own! The pieces will be in large chunks. DON'T blend it up! Just simply poor it out onto your hand on the way into the pan (obviously have well washed hands) and crush the chunks with your hands as it goes it. That's the fun part!
- When it gets to a simmer again, add 1 1/2 cups of red wine. I recommend swirling the red wine around the cans of I.S. Tomatoes so that you can get every last bit of it out. It might seem like a lot of wine, but remember the amount of time it will be simmering will help reduce it a lot.
- Then add the seasonings starting with the whole bay leaves EXCEPT the fresh chopped parsley. Stir it all up, and allow to come to a high simmer. Just bellow a boil. Then turn it down again. At this point I recommend putting the lid on and weighing it down for a firm fit. If you have a pressure cooker, use that! Slow cookers work great too, but I recommend starting off in a pot and then switching over to the slow cooker.
- Allow to cook for approx and hour, then test the flavor. Remember, it WILL change after cooking the full time. You can usually tell at this point if its going to be bland or just right though.
- Put the lid back on at an angle (to allow venting). Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of wine into a glass for yourself, go sit on the couch and look extremely exhausted. After all, cooking a fancy dinner requires A LOT of work. Make sure your family knows it too as the aroma of your homemade sauce wafts around the house. Put in a movie, I recommend something like Chocolat, or Under the Tuscan Sun -- You will like it, and it will keep the men folk out of the kitchen while you cook. If you ARE a man--football or something--I don't know? What do men who cook watch?.
- Stir frequently. If it appears to be getting too hot (IE burning to bottom of pan) TURN IT DOWN. Love your sauce, don't leave it injured. Allow approx 6 hours to cook over the stove top (more if your using a slow cooker, after all -- it's ummm -- "slow"). Taste regularly. I also take a loaf of French bread, slicing it open so it hinges at the side, add minced garlic and olive oil, wrap it in aluminum foil and heat in the oven for a few minutes right before dinner is to be served.
- When sauce is ready, start water boiling for the noodles. I recommend whole wheat noodles, but you can use any kind your heart desires.
- You will know the sauce is ready when it thickens up and is still nice and chunky. If you have a thick paste that's stuck to the bottom of the pan, then you had too much red wine and forgot about your sauce. Don't panic--add water and talk to it, beg it to be ok. Sometimes it comes around. If all has gone well however, you will have a glorious sauce whose aroma fills your house and it will bring your family to the table on its own--no ringing bell necessary.
- To serve, strain noodles (DON'T rinse!) put them back in the pot in which they were cooked. Ladle in about 2-3 ladles of sauce (depending on how much noodles you cooked). Remove the bay leaves as you find them. Toss the noodles to coat them with sauce. Plate out the noodles. Put a little sauce on the top. Chop the fresh parsley; toss over the top of each one. Shave fresh parmesan cheese over the top. Cut up bread if you desired to make it, put it in a basket wrapped in a towel.
- Enter dinning room carrying a plate in each hand. Look so exhausted that you couldn't possibly do the dishes. ;).