Difficulty Rating: Medium
Everybody should make home-made spaghetti sauce at least once. I used to make this all the time when Lauren was small. It will fill your house with happy smells, and make you feel like an Italian Mama. How? Just dip some fresh sourdough into the sauce while it's still in the pot. Mmmmmmmm. Gorgeous! Instant Mama. I nabbed this one out of a magazine ( Sunset?) that had an article on the Sebastiani wine family. It seems the family members had a parting of the ways business-wise at some point, but you know what? I bet they all have and still use the family recipes!
Note: Remember to at least double the recipe and freeze some for another night!
4 chopped onions4 stalks celery
4 T olive oil4 T butter
1 lb lean ground beef1 t garlic salt
1 T Basil4 garlic cloves (smashed and minced fine)
1/2 C parsley4/4 C sliced mushrooms (can use Italian dried Porcini, but please re-hydrate)
1/4 t Rosemary1 large can solid pack stewed tomatoes ( I've never tried fresh, but it would be interesting)
6 cans tomato sauce (8 oz.)1 fresh chili pepper (minced fine, no seeds) or 2 dried ( ditto)
1 1/2 C water1 C good red wine (I use Coppola's "Rosso" currently at Trader Joes)
1 t. sugar or Palm sugar
Saute onions, celery in olive oil and butter in a soup pot. In another pan, brown 1 lb lean ground beef. Drain, salt and pepper to taste and add to the soup pot with all other ingredients. Simmer for 3-4 hours with lid on. Taste. If it needs more salt, add it. If it needs more garlic, add it. If it's acidic and needs more sugar, add it. We in America are used to a lot of sugar in our pasta sauce. So adjust to your taste. Finally, add more wine if you think it needs it. The better the wine, the better the sauce. If you get the cheap stuff make sure you have tasted it and like it. It should be smooth, not bitter. Gypsy Chariot Red is remarkable and inexpensive, but available only a few times a year at TJs.