better than anything from a jar.

I never buy spaghetti sauce.  Ever.  You can make a pretty decent sauce with a tin of tomatoes, basil, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil – there is no excuse for buying that pre-made stuff.  Once you master a basic marinara, you will never buy pre-made sauce again!

 

And why would you?  The variations on tomato sauce are many, you can add vegetables like eggplant, or seafood, add some meatballs, or craft a really good Bolognese sauce.  Bolognese is basically marinara with meat.  This gently simmered meat sauce makes the house smell amazing (and probably makes a few of our apartment neighbors extremely jealous.)

Spaghetti Bolognese
1 lb. spaghetti noodles, cooked al dente (you can use any noodle you want, really), with a 1/2 cup of pasta water reserved

1/2 lb. Italian sausage
1 lb. lean ground beef
1-28oz. can crushed San Marzano tomatoes
a few leaves of basil, chiffonade cut
1 sprig of fresh thyme, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped finely
2 T olive oil
salt
pepper

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large saute pan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat.  Saute the onion, garlic, and celery until soft, then add the meat and break it apart with the back of a fork as it cooks.  Season with salt and pepper, then add tomatoes and herbs.  Let simmer for 30 minutes, covered, and then uncovered for another 10 minutes or so so the sauce thickens a bit.  You can even let it simmer longer to enrich the flavors, but 30 minutes is great if you want to eat your sauce that evening.

To serve, add your cooked pasta to a warm pan, add the pasta water, and the sauce and mix gently.  Let it heat up for a few minutes and then serve in pasta bowls with a generous sprinkling of Parmesan cheese (if using).  You can also finish with a light touch of high quality olive oil.

Buon appetito!

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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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