In my house we call it “spaghetti sauce” whether it’s going to be used for spaghetti or not, but I think I’ve read that they call it “red gravy” sometimes. Anyway, I’ve been making quite a bit of it lately, because we have had some extremely prolific tomato plants this year. In honor of that, I thought I’d share my basic recipe (concept) with you; just keep in mind that–unlike what appears to be the rest of the world–I don’t have an Italian grandma, so I’m just hoping that if I did, she’s not shaking her head in disgust. 😛
Things you need:
Tomatoes (mine are Roma and Italian varieties.) Enough to fill your stockpot to the halfway mark.
Tomato paste (around two of the little cans should work, depending on how thick you are going for).
Mushrooms (we love portabellas) one 10 oz. box should do.
Pork sausage or Italian sausage I used 1 lb. per 4 quarts.
White wine (cooking wine is what I use) Somewhere around 1/2 cup.
Garlic (or garlic powder) to taste
Onions (or onion powder) to taste
Basil (optional) to taste
Salt & Pepper (I use mostly Cayenne) to taste
8 quart stockpot/pressure cooker
About 8 hours before dinner
The first step if you are using fresh tomatoes is to blanch and peel them. This is pretty easy to do, and you can see a step-by-step tutorial HERE. After that, you’ll want to seed them and kind of chop them up a bit (don’t worry about uniformity or dicing carefully, it won’t matter in the end.)
Brown and drain your sausage. Dice your mushrooms (really tiny if you have picky eaters) and add them to the pot along with your white wine to deglaze the pan a bit. Kind of let the mushrooms cook down (helps hide them from the picky eaters) before adding your garlic, onion, tomato paste, and tomatoes.
Bring all of this to a full boil for around 10 or 15 minutes, stirring regularly. Drain if it looks really watery. Cover. Reduce heat to really low (on my stove I set the dial between ‘2’ and ‘3’) and let simmer for at least 8 hours, stirring occasionally if you remember. I start my actual sauce at about 10 p.m. and do mine overnight, so I don’t bother to stir it once it stops boiling. 😉 If you do that, shut it off when you wake up (or by about 8 a.m.) and it’ll be cooled enough to put into freezer bags (use gallon bags and only fill them about 1/3 full so that you can lay them flat while they freeze and have them thaw quickly when you need them) by around noon.
After 8 hours or so, the sauce should be pretty much ready to go. If you want to add basil, now’s the time. The sauce freezes really well, and is pretty versatile. It’s especially great on pizza. 😉 Enjoy! 🙂