Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Spaghetti Sauce with Vegetables

Sunday is a good day to put on a pot of sauce and let it simmer all afternoon.  I had an abundance of mushrooms so the sauce that's bubbling on my stove is loaded with them.  I decided to go all out and make it a real veggie sauce, though  not vegetarian since I used chicken stock to simmer the vegetables before adding the tomatoes.  In addition to the mushrooms, there's onion and garlic (of course) as well as celery, and a grated carrot which adds just the right touch of sweetness (along with a little bit of brown sugar).  Add to that basil and oregano, and all the flavors are there to make this a real Sunday spaghetti sauce.  I might make some meatballs later (90% ground beef) and let them hang out in the sauce for the last hour or so, and I think I'll borrow a cup of red wine from Katie to give it that extra special richness that my beloved (former) mother-in-law, Mary Lou, always adds to her sauce!  Even though her son and I are no longer married, I am happy to still be a part of her life. (Besides, she's my kids' grandmother, and that is forever.)

Use a large pot or big dutch oven

3 tbsp. olive oil
1 white or yellow onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 large carrot, grated
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
16 ounces stock, your preference (chicken, vegetable, beef)
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
28 ounce can tomato sauce
4 ounce can tomato paste
1 tablespoon brown sugar
crushed black pepper, about 10 grinds or 1/2 teaspoon from your pepper shaker
salt, to taste (I only used 1/2 teaspoon - you may want a little more but be careful, you can't take it out!)
basil (dried, use about a teaspoon)
oregano (dried, use about a teaspoon)

Over medium heat, saute onions, garlic, celery, and carrot until onion is translucent, about five or six minutes.   Stir often so garlic doesn't burn.  Add mushrooms and chicken stock.   Cook, uncovered, for about five minutes, stirring often.  Add crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, and brown sugar.  Stir in black pepper, basil and oregano.  Bring to boil.  Reduce heat.  Simmer all afternoon!

Closer to serving time, you can stir in 1/2 cup red wine, and if you want a meaty flavor, add cooked meatballs for the last hour.

Oh, soooo good!

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