Category Archives: sauces

Simple Spaghetti Sauce

My parents have always made their own spaghetti sauce. My Mom has her own version and my Dad has his own version. Don’t worry, it’s not a family war, it’s a known fact that my Dad’s version is better. My mom will admit this.

For many years, I too had my own recipe… which was going to the store and buying a jar of sauce. Having my Dad’s sauce was a treat, but in the last few years I’ve realized how easy and not so time consuming it is to make your own sauce… and how it tastes 100% better. So, I’m here to spill the secret recipe.

I like to make a big batch of this and freeze any leftovers I have.

 My Dad’s Simple Spaghetti Sauce

2 tablespoons of olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced (or more!)
2 28oz cans of diced tomatoes (organic, plz)
1 15oz can of tomato sauce
2 teaspoons of granulated sugar
1-2 pours of good red wine (A few tablespoons each pour)
2 teaspoons of oregano
2 teaspoons of Italian seasoning
Fresh basil if available
salt and pepper to taste
1. Add the olive oil to a large saucepan. When it starts to shimmer add the garlic. Cook for a minute or two so that the garlic turns a golden color. Stop before it turns brown!
2. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, red wine, 1 tablespoon sugar and spices. Let this simmer on medium-low for 20 minutes. (NOTE: if you want a thicker sauce, drain the tomatoes and keep the juice for when you make soup or bloody mary mix).
3. Stir the pot often, but try not to let the water that will collect on the lid get into the sauce!
4. After 20 minutes, taste the sauce and see what else it needs. More spices and wine never hurt (I think I need an apron that says that..) if it tastes too acidic add more sugar. Add in fresh basil if you have it here.
5. Cook for 20 more minutes at a tad lower heat, stirring frequently.
6. Use an immersion blender to smooth out the chunks to the consistency you want your sauce to be. I tend to like a balance between smooth and chunky so I do about 15-25 seconds of blending. The blending will break up the basil as well.
7. The sauce is ready to eat, or feel free to continue simmering. The longer it cooks down, the better it tastes.

See? Not hard. You have to chop some garlic, open some cans, shake in some spices and things and stir a few times! This sauce is even better (200%?) if you have tomatoes that you canned your self. You can even use fresh tomatoes that you roast or fresh tomatoes that you chop.

Invite me over!

Roasted Tomatillo/Verde Enchilada Sauce

My CSA has sent us tons of tomatillos this summer. I kind of only know how to make one (er, 1.5) things with them… so I keep making enchilada sauce. Good thing it is delicious.

I looked at this recipe once, and it has always made a delicious sauce, although in reading it closely for this post I realized I haven’t ever followed it properly.

Verde Enchilada Sauce
6-8 medium tomatillos, husked and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1-2 cloves garlic
1 medium/large jalepeno pepper
1/2 cup water
salt and freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup cilantro
1/2 lime juiced

1. Remove the husks from the tomatillos. They will be sticky (and possibly smell a little funky) but just wash them as best as you can and dry them off.

2. Roast the jalapeno, garlic and tomatillos on a baking sheet under the broiler (on high). Broil until black and blistering on all sides, turning as needed. Make sure the garlic doesn’t burn– you may have to take that out early. This all takes less than 5 minutes.

3. Remove from oven and place in a ziploc bag, or a bowl covered tightly with saran. Allow to sit for 5 minutes, then remove and peel. Discard skin, core and seeds. (Note- I have always skipped this step and I’m not dead yet. So feel free to do the same!)

4. Heat a sauce pan until medium and add a little oil and cook the onion onion until browned. (Um–I’ve never done this either. I bet it would be delicious, and I’ll try it next time.)

5. Get out your blender or food processor and dump all ingredients into it until it is a thin liquid.

Well… so clearly I’m not so great at following directions. But the sauce tastes awesome with my Mom’s enchilada recipe I’ve also eaten this as a salsa (see above photo), which tasted awesome. Just leave out the water!  This sauce is a little spicy, a little sweet and seriously easy to make.

Make it, then open up a can of salsa verde enchilada sauce and taste the difference. I did this last  night and it was a million times better. GO!