Ossobuco (peacebone) wrote in dragons_cook,

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My Grandmother's Tomato Sauce

I am in the process of cooking an epic four-course meal for my mother and some friends tonight, and I've reached a lull in the action (the zabaglione's chilling, the soup's cooking, the pesto's ready, and it's a while before I need to start the crostini or the risotto), so here is a recipe that a friend requested: the bitchin' tomato sauce that my grandmother used to make, with a few modifications of my own. This is, without a doubt, the best tomato sauce I have ever made, and probably the best I've ever tasted.

It is not technically marinara, because it is made with meat; in fact, it takes a lot of flavor from the meatballs and/or sausages cooked in it, so if you need to make it without meat, you'll want to add some additional spices.

(Also, cheapskate tip: if you're not a wine drinker and you don't want to waste a whole bottle for the sake of this sauce, buy one of those little four-packs of tiny bottles! They're perfect if you just use wine for cooking because you can open just one bottle, and still have unopened bottles to keep around for future recipes.)

Enough babbling. The recipe!

2 large cans (1 lb. 12 oz. each) tomato puree (not paste, not sauce - puree. For some reason, this was hard to find. Alternately, I'm sure that you could buy whole or diced canned tomatoes and puree them yourself.)
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/2 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 to 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 cup dry red wine
About half a handful of fresh basil leaves, roughly chopped (or 2 tbsp dried)
Two or three tbsp (packed) of fresh oregano leaves (or 1 tbsp dry)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups water
Two pounds seasoned Italian sausage or two pounds of beef Italian meatballs, or any combination of the two, browned in a large (six- to eight-quart) kettle.

Combine the sauce ingredients in a large bowl, and stir until well-blended. Pour the sauce over the meatballs/sausage in the kettle, bring to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended (about one hour). Skim off the fat if necessary, and serve over hot cooked spaghetti.

This makes about two and a half quarts of sauce, and serves six to eight people.
Tags: italian, sauce, tomato
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