Monday, February 20, 2006

Not-from-a-jar Spaghetti Sauce

This is always a work in progress, as I add something new or don't have something else each time. You do too have time to make a sauce from scratch: this one takes 45 minutes start-to-finish, and if you start your huge pot of water boiling right when you start your sauce, the pasta and sauce should both be done at the same time.

1 lb ground sirloin
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 lg clove garlic, crushed & chopped
1 28oz can chopped tomatoes
1 6oz can tomato paste
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T chopped fresh oregano
1 tsp dried basil or 1 T chopped fresh basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 dash cinnamon
1/2 C water

First chop the veggies. Put the olive oil in a large sauce pot over medium high heat and let it get hot. Put the onion, pepper and garlic in and stir everything until the onions turn translucent. Put in the ground sirloin and break up with the back of the spoon. Stir until no more pink is left. Add the tomatoes and the next nine ingredients. [Special hint which you probably already know: to get the tomato paste out easier, open both ends of the can and use one can end to push the paste out. Remove can end before stirring...] Mash the tomatoes with the back of the spoon for a more "saucy" consistency. Stir, taste, correct the seasoning. Don't add too much cinnamon - the idea is for them to say, "Wow, how interesting! What's in this?" and not "Oh, you put cinnamon in this, right?" Let everything come to a boil and reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Serves 8 with 1lb pasta, or you can serve 4 tonight with 1/2 lb pasta and save the rest for tomorrow.


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