Thanksgiving eve was always spent making spaghetti and Mama’s sauce. Mama taught us how to make plain old spaghetti into something extraordinary. No matter what, we understand we will always have a piece of the family to pass down for generations to come.
Difficulty: EasyCook Time: 3-4 hours
1/2 lb ground Italian sausage
1/2 lb ground beef
Several large ripe tomatoes or 2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, crushed or minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme (or to taste)
1 tsp dried oregano (or to taste)
Salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
Pinch of allspice
1/4 cup rich brewed coffee
2-3 sprigs of sweet basil, chopped
1-2 reduced sodium beef bouillon cubes (only if necessary and to taste)
Puree the tomatoes in a food processor until smooth and set aside.
In a large sauce pot, sauté the meat in a splash of olive oil. When browned, remove the meat and add the onion and pepper. Sauté until the onion turns translucent then add the garlic; sauté for one more minute. Add the pureed tomatoes and the meat; heat to boiling over medium then reduce heat to simmer. Continue to simmer the sauce for three to four hours (2 at the very least).
Add black pepper, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, brown sugar, coffee, allspice and vinegar and continue to simmer for one more hour. Taste. If necessary, add salt in moderation, OR, if the sauce needs more beef flavor, add the bouillon cubes. Do not add both the salt and cubes at the same time. Taste before adding one or the other as beef cubes contain sodium.
15 minutes – 1/2 hour before serving, add chopped basil and remove from heat. Add small amounts of water through-out the cooking process as the sauces begins to thicken. Finish with a couple of pats of real butter.
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