Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Spaghetti - suburban style

Spaghetti means home.  Almost anyone can make a decent tomato sauce so it is the one dish we all remember from childhood and it gives us comfort. Usually a canned tomato sauce is used so differentiation has to be in the other ingredients and their preparation. Here are the ingredients from Fern's childhood.

Spaghetti Sauce

1 680ml/24oz can Hunt's Tomato Sauce
1 284ml/10oz can Aylmer Tomato Soup (Aylmer or nothing, no other brand will do)
1 onion diced
2 carrots diced
1 stick celery diced
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
2 bay leaves
6-8 mushrooms
454gm/1lb lean ground beef
454gm/1lb mild Italian sausage

Caramelize the onion then sweat the carrots, celery, garlic and bay leaf.  Remove all from the pan, add more oil and the sliced mushrooms. Get a good sear on the mushrooms then remove them from the pan.    Add the ground beef and brown it completely, then remove it from the pan.  Finally, add the meat from the sausages and thoroughly cook it.  Now add everything back into the pan. Add the cans of tomato sauce and Aylmer tomato soup (this recipe relies upon the distinct flavor of Aylmer tomato soup, substitutes will not work) Heat to bubbling and simmer at least two hours stirring every 20 minutes so it doesn't burn to the bottom.

We are using Barilla pasta because it tastes better than Catelli, which I consider second best. Cheaper pasta are sticky and don't have good flavor so I consider them not a good bargain. The sauce is topped with fresh grated Italian parmesan.  I used to buy grated Canadian parmesan until I tasted fresh grated Grand Padana. 

All that fussing with sweating and searing everything paid off with much deeper richer flavor in the sauce.  It's the care taken with preparation that makes the difference in the finished product.

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