Friday, January 20, 2012

Secret Sauce

My regularly scheduled Wednesday posting was interrupted by this: SOPA. On with the show!

Secret Sauce

I have a secret. When I make traditional red sauce, I take out the traditional and add my own twist. At least I thought it was my own twist until I saw this on twitter:

Mario Batali is out there spilling the beans! Or the carrots, in this instance. I learned the carrot trick when I was living in South America and my Mama always added shredded carrots to her red sauce. It seemed so strange to me at the time. We are not an Italian family, though my Dad grew up in an Italian neighborhood. I grew up watching him grow his own vegetables, peel tomatoes, and can shelves upon shelves of sauce. His sauce is amazing, but I never tasted sauce quite like my Mama’s. I’ve been fiddling with this recipe for years and have always come back to “simple is best.”

So, now that my secret is out, I thought I’d share my sauce recipe with the rest of the world. It’s very simple and the optional add-ins can take the sauce to many different levels depending on how you plan to use it. In lasagna, I would keep it simple or perhaps add a little sausage. Over fresh ribbon noodles, I like to add some more veggies and keep the sauce a bit more chunky. If you are against using wine, go for some broth or stock.

Sara’s Red Sauce

2 29 oz cans of crushed tomatoes
2 Carrots – shredded
1 Medium Red Onion – chopped
4 Cloves of Garlic – minced
1/2 C Wine – Red or White, something drinkable, but not sweet
1 tsp Kosher Salt (more or less depending on your taste)
Pepper to taste
2 TBSP Olive Oil

1/2 Pound Mushrooms – sliced
1/2 Pound Ground Turkey/Chicken/Pork/Sausage
1 Bell Pepper – chopped

Heat OLIVE OIL over medium-low heat in a large pot and add the ONIONS. Liberally salt the onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes, adding the CARROTS about half way through cooking the onions. Add the other veggies, one at a time, cooking each for a few minutes and moving them to the side before adding the next. I always add the MUSHROOMS last, since they take the least amount of time to cook.

After all the vegetables are sautéed, deglaze the pan with the WINE or BROTH and add the GARLIC. I prefer adding the garlic with the liquid so as not to over cook it. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan before you add the TOMATOES to the vegetables. After adding the tomatoes, allow to simmer for at least 30 minutes and then eat it. Slather it on crusty bread, pour it over noodles, grab a spoon and fill your gaping mouth until you want to puke. Erm… Sorry, lost focus. Just, you know, enjoy in moderation. If you can.

Thanks for reading!



Jenn Greenleaf said...

When I'm cooking down my tomatoes into sauce, I substitute carrots for sugar and it's been working so far. :o) I learned from one of my (Italian) grandmothers. <3 Now....I really want to make some sauce!

Sara Spock said...

Jenn - I love this! I honestly never knew it was a traditional addition to sauce. I learned it in South America and didn't think that could be traditional ;-) Enjoy mixing up your sauce!