Al’s Spaghetti Sauce
FYI - If you make this recipe to save money and/or time - it will do neither. It will give you the satisfaction of making a great homemade product. Truly a labor of love.
2 - 28oz cans Dei Fratelli Chopped Italian Tomatoes
1 - 28oz can Dei Fratelli Diced Tomatoes
2 - 15oz cans Dei Fratelli Tomato Sauce
1 - 12oz can Everyday Essentials Tomato Paste
1 - Medium Sized fresh tomato (optional - had one on hand)
2 - Cups Cherry Tomatoes - halved (optional - had some on hand)
1 - Large (or 2 Medium) White Onion - diced
1 - 8oz package of Mushrooms - diced
2 to 3 - Medium sized Zucchinis
2 to 3 - Medium sized Yellow Squash
2 - Medium sized carrots - peeled and fine grated.
Minced garlic (you decide how much)
Penzey’s Dried Oregano
Fresh Thyme (stripped from stem)
Fresh Basil (several leaves fine chopped)
Salt & Pepper
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 - lbs Ground Chuck.
The ingredients used above will fill a 7QT pot. Scale your batch accordingly. We freeze measured amounts of sauce in a container - enough for 3-4 servings.
Place a 7QT pot on medium heat. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil to pot. Add carrot, 1/2 of diced onion, zucchini, squash, 1/3 of diced mushrooms, and garlic. Season with salt, pepper, & oregano. Stir.
Sauté until veggies are tender (about 5 - 10 minutes). You might have to add more EVOO during sauté time. Onions will start caramelize. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Add about a teaspoon of fresh thyme and tablespoon of fresh basil.
Add all tomato products and 1/3 of diced mushrooms to pot. Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce to a texture of your liking. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover with a screen and stir often. The goal is to reduce the water content and concentrate the tomato mixture. This process will take 2 to 3 (or more) hours. Place a teaspoon of the sauce on a plate to see how much liquid spreads out from the edges. I don’t like much water in my sauce, so there’s very little. Season to taste with salt and pepper after it’s done reducing. Salting too much before reduction will also concentrate the salt. Add a sprinkle of dried oregano and more fresh thyme if you like. Stir
While tomato/veggie mixture is reducing, brown the ground chuck.
In another pan sauté the remaining diced onions, remaining diced mushrooms, and some garlic until soft. Salt & Pepper to taste.
Add ground chuck. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle of dried oregano. Break up and stir. Drain excess grease. If you are freezing the entire batch - allow to cool before adding to sauce. If you plan to use the sauce right away - add meat to sauce if it’s reduced to your liking.
Cool before freezer packaging. Fill sink with enough cold water ice to reach 1/2 up the sauce pot when placed into sink. Stir every few minutes.
Everybody in the Pool (aka Hamburger) Soup
Have you ever run into a situation where you needed to use up all sorts of miscellaneous things in the fridge? Yeah, well, this is the result. We had a little of this - a little of that. Whatever was laying around got thrown into the pot. Bottom line, we really weren't following as recipe.
1/2 cubed Rutabaga
Frozen Green Beans
Green Bell Pepper
Gluten-Free Beef Stock ((Kitchen Basics, Swanson’s, Pacific, Imagine). Note: Beef stocks may contain gluten. Double check the ingredients)
Gluten-Free Chicken Stock (Kitchen Basics, Swanson’s, Pacific, Imagine)
Sauté' green bell pepper & onion in a big soup pot [7 qt pictured here] for a few minutes.
Add a pinch a salt and pepper. Be careful with the salt, your stocks have have additional salt.
Add 2 lbs of hamburger to pan and brown.
Add a pinch of salt and pepper
Drain/remove excess grease.
Add chicken or beef broth - probably 2-4 cups total
Add bottle of 46oz bottle of V8
Add Bay Leaf or two
Add veggies that need longer too cook first (like rutabaga, carrots, celery, etc]- staggering them by a couple of minutes.
Taste for salt/pepper
Bring up to a boil then reduce heat to simmer
Cover pot and let simmer for 30 - 60 minutes stirring occasionally.
Check a carrot/celery/rutabaga - if it's a texture you like - dig in!
Until the next good eats...