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Real Spaghetti Sauce, Healthy and Hearty

December 6, 2010

This is real, hearty spaghetti sauce the way my family always ate it.  When I went to school and saw what people considered as spaghetti sauce, that squished-tomato-salt-and-sugar stuff in a can, I was confused and sad for the world.

Please make this sauce, you’ll never go back.  After the minimal amount of chopping, there is nothing to do but let it sit on the stove and simmer into goodness.  With little effort, you’ll have a meal you will be pleased to feed your family with, full of every colour (and hence vitamin) in the rainbow.

I apologize for the less than stellar photos in this recipe, seems my camera may have gotten a smudge on the lens part way through my adventure.

Ingredients:

Vegetables: in every colour you can find, I usually go with garlic, red onion, celery, carrots, yellow and red peppers, zucchini and mushroom, but the list is flexible

Large can of diced tomatoes

Small can of tomato paste

Red wine (1 cup) or a few tablespoons of either red wine or balsamic vinegar

Olive oil if needed (I use a large non stick soup pot, so no olive oil required)

Herbs: also flexible, I usually go with parsley, sage and oregano, but just add a variety of whatever green herbs you might have on hand

Ground meat is a good addition if you are not vegetarian

I am not a vegetarian, so I always start by browning some ground meat in a big pot.  This is a one pot sauce, so just leave the stove on medium and continue adding to the pot as you cut up the vegetables.

Peel some garlic, maybe 5 cloves.  Leave the garlic cloves whole.  Chop the onion and celery into big chunks (no need to dice into small pieces, this is unnecessary and just takes too much time).  Add these three items to the pot once the meat is browned.  Give everything a stir and let cook while you continue chopping.

Next chop your carrots and peppers into big chunks.  Add to the pot, stir and continue cooking and chopping.

Add your softest vegetables to the pot last, such as the mushrooms and zucchini.  Phew, chopping complete!

So now your pot should be a delightful rainbow of partially cooked vegetables.

This is where I may gotten some steam on my camera lens for the remainder of the recipe.  Let’s call it an “effect”.

Add a big can of diced tomatoes, juice and all.

Add a small can of tomato paste.  Fill the same small can with water and add to the pot as well.

This is my favorite part.  Add about 1 cup of red wine.  Or substitute a few tablespoons of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar.  The acidity of the wine or vinegar softens and tenderizes especially meat.

Add a spoon of a few herbs you have on hand such as parsley, sage and oregano.

All the work is done, so put a lid on your pot and turn the stove down to low.  Let the pot simmer for as long as you can hold out.  Two hours seems ideal, but sometimes, you just got to dig in!

Here is the completed dish on some macaroni noodles.  All of those vegetables instantly melt when they hit your tongue.  No chewing required!

Another way I love to eat this sauce is on a toasted bun with a bit of cheese.  Kind of like a sloppy joe possibly.

The possibilities are endless with this sauce.  You can also use it to make chili or on top of chicken or eggplant for parmigiana.  What is your favorite non-spaghetti way to use spaghetti sauce?  Jump up.

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From → Mains

One Comment
  1. This looks so healthy and hearty 🙂 I love this simple sauce. It sounds delicious and perfect for family cooking.

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