Everyone should have a good spaghetti recipe! And I bet you do…you just may not realize it because there are a few tips to making really good spaghetti sauce. You may not realize how much better your recipe could be by following some simple tips.
Having an Italian heritage I grew up with Sunday Spaghetti dinners, and learned to make sauce a long time ago. The interesting fact about our family recipe is that although we..mom, dad, aunts, grandma, sister, and brother, have the same basic recipe, we all have our little tweaks and make it our own way, (although we pick up tips and hints from each other) and yet..all of us can make some sauce!
So I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to making some good spaghetti sauce. No, I’m not giving you my recipe (I may get shot if I did) but I think I can show you that your own recipe can be great too!
1. The first and most important thing is cook your sauce – Duh, you say, but I mean cook it for a long time. The secret to thick rich tasting sauce is cooking it for a looooong time, on a low heat, like 8 hours. Cook it uncovered, stirring it often. The flavor of the spices and ingredients you add to your recipe really have a chance to blend together when you cook the sauce for that long. It will thicken as you cook it, which means that even though your sauce is thin and runny when you begin, you should have a nice thick sauce when it’s done.
2. Add some meat to your sauce while it’s cooking. - It adds flavor. Meatballs, Italian sausage, beef or pork, etc. , even ground beef will help (although I don’t really like the ground beef option). Yes I said pork or beef, a good readily available meat, is country style ribs (with the bone), you will have to remove the bone once all the meat falls off of it. Do not cook the meat first let it cook in your sauce. (make sure that the temperature of your sauce is high enough to cook your meat fully)
3. Season your sauce. – Don’t be afraid to add some seasoning, they will add depth and flavor to the sauce. BUT….remember that when you cook your sauce for that long the seasoning really comes alive. So be careful you may not need as much seasoning as you are used to. When you only cook your sauce for an hour or two you need more seasoning to make it taste good. When you cook the sauce all day the flavors of the tomatoes and the seasoning is richer.
4. Make some good meatballs - Not to be mean…but I’ve tasted some nasty meatballs. When you cook meatballs in your sauce it ads flavor, but when you eat those meatballs, you want them to be tasty, right? Yes…I’m going to tell you how I make meatballs, but beware…I don’t use traditional measurements so I’m guessing about how much here… you will have to be brave and give it a try.
Ingredients – 1 pound ground beef, 2 eggs, parmesan cheese, and Italian style breadcrumbs, milk, salt, pepper and garlic.
Place the ground beef in a bowl with the 2 eggs, about 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese, about 1 cup of bread crumbs, 3/4 tsp. salt,1 tsp. pepper and 1 tsp. garlic powder (powder, not salt) I don’t measure this, I just dump it in until I think it looks right so these measurements are just guesses, which means that your guess is good too! Slowly add about a 1/2 cup of milk and mix it together until it is moist enough to stick together but not soggy. If you need to, add more milk just make sure that it’s not soggy. (if they are soggy…they will fall apart so do your best) Roll into meatballs. depending on the size this should make about 20-25 meatballs.
Cook your meatballs in your sauce. You can brown the meatballs and place them in the sauce or just place them in the sauce as is. When you brown them it tends to hold them together a little better.
Now, a tip for your meatballs. Use ground beef with a little higher fat content for moister meatballs. I use 20% but only for meatballs. Secondly, when you cook them in your sauce they will not only flavor the sauce but the sauce will flavor your meatballs. Good trade off! BUT, since you will be stirring the sauce often, they can break up easily so….stir slowly!
Now, take your everyday spaghetti recipe and go make it great!
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