Friday, June 29, 2012


Everyone loves spaghetti the way their mother made it, assuming she could cook. Recipes don't matter so much since satisfaction is based more on emotional connection to childhood memories than what the food actually tastes like. That sounds a bit like the Food Whisperer but it is what I have observed on a small sample of people. Fortunately my mother's sauce can be turned into my partner's mother's sauce by changing one ingredient and adding two. I am presenting sauce the way my partner's mother made it since that is how I prepare ours.  If you want to taste the sauce my mother made, substitute tomato paste for the Aylmer tomato soup and leave out the carrot and ground pork. One final note, I usually use a green pepper but today red peppers were half the price of green so I bought red.  It works because I added ground pork, otherwise the pepper would have been too sweet for the meat.

135 gm or 1/3 lb ground pork
454 gm or 1 lb lean ground beef (Angus is better)
1 can Hunt's Tomato Sauce
1 can Aylmer Tomato Soup
1 carrot diced
1 stick celery diced
1 onion diced
1 bay leaf
1 green (or red) pepper diced
6 mushrooms sliced
2 cloves garlic smashed or finely chopped
1/4 tsp salt (leave out if tomato sauce has lots of salt)

Unfortunately the brands are important here.  No other tomato soup can be substituted, if you can't get Aylmer Tomato Soup then use tomato paste instead. For the tomato sauce, Hunt's is a premium brand in Canada but most any tomato sauce can be used. To differentiate my sauce I put effort into the fresh ingredients.  Canned food tastes the same no matter how carefully I open the can.

On medium heat, I start by browning the diced onion to golden then removing it from the pan, I keep adding oil so the pan doesn't dry out. Next I added the finely diced carrot. A few minutes later in went the diced celery followed by the red pepper. Cooked them till they sweat. Out they came and in went the mushrooms.  When they were seared out they came and in went the pork, beef, garlic and salt. I cooked most of the moisture off the meat then added back in the sweated ingredients the canned ingredients and the bay leaf.

Heat it up and let it simmer for at least an hour.  For the pasta I use Barilla if I can get it, otherwise I use Catelli. If I have all afternoon and nothing to do I'll make fresh pasta, but not today.  Top with fresh grated parmesan and serve.

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