Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Do what makes you happy: A recepe for awesome spaghetti sauce

Teresa's not-so-precise recipe for chunky spaghetti sauce
 *Note: This is just what I put in it. Please adjust to your own tastes.
1-jar Ragu Spaghetti Sauce (any variety) This is my favorite brand. It's often $1 a jar and makes a GREAT base to add too. 
1-can diced tomatoes, dump out the juice
2-cups sliced fresh mushrooms. If you don't know about how to clean mushrooms watch Alton Brown explain why you should NEVER get them wet. Obviously canned will work too, but the fresh ones add to the chunky-ness. Just make sure you don't add the water. 
Montreal Steak Seasoning, or Salt and Pepper

That's all you really need. This time around I diced up already cooked Italian sausage, sometimes I add ground beef or diced chicken, but the stuff above will  make a nice chunky sauce. 

1) Add sauce and drained tomatoes to a warm sauce pan.Be careful, don't let it boil or you will have a huge mess to clean up. If you are using meat, make sure it is pre-cooked and then add the meat. Let simmer for 15 or 20 minutes stirring occasionally. This will help cook out some of the extra moisture. 

2) If you are using fresh mushrooms wait until about 5 minutes before you are ready to serve the sauce to add them. If you let them cook they will add a ridiculous amount of moisture to your sauce, and that's not what were going for here. If you are using canned then you can add them at any time. 

3) Add Montreal Steak Seasoning to taste. That's it, it's that easy.

The Reason for Sharing This: 
I don't know how to cook but I know how to eat. And one thing I know about eating is mean I don't like soup and usually don't like sauce. However, just like all human beings, I love pasta. 

I apologize that the picture to the left is overexposed so the lack of shadows to provide contrast makes it a little tough to see how delicious this looks, but I the important thing to notice is that this spaghetti sauce is not thin and...saucy, but rather is thick and chunky.

When you put this on top of spaghetti (angle hair of course) it doesn't make a big messy slippery plate of pasta but rater creates an exciting mountain of texture. Really, my problems with texture are that I don't like a lack of texture. Also, I can't stand sweet tomato sauce so I fill it up with Montreal Steak Seasoning. Mostly, it's just salt and pepper, and it really doesn't add a ton of flavor but rather it cuts out that sweetness so what you are left with is rich and bold.
So, the point I'm trying to make with this metaphor is simple: Don't settle for the way that you have been told spaghetti is supposed to be, or actually the way you are told anything is supposed to be. If you are unhappy with the way that something is, especially when that something is directly under your control, change it. Don't allow yourself to be unhappy just because someone tells you that something is supposed to be done a certain way.

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