Roasted Spaghetti Sauce

Dear Boys,

I know I won’t sell you on the health benefits of homemade spaghetti sauce at this point in life, so we’ll have to go with flavor for now.

We’ve used the stuff in the jar as much or more as anyone, but I recently did somewhat of a taste test.  I was surprised at how sweet jarred sauce is.

Seems to me that a sweet taste should be saved for dessert . . .

That’s why I worked on an easy, homemade sauce.

It takes a little more effort than opening a jar, but it’s very doable.

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You’ll need four cans (14.5 oz) of Italian style stewed tomatoes.

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Pour all three cans into a large cast iron skillet or Dutch oven.  (A Dutch oven is a pot with tall, thick sides that have tight-fitting lids.  Ours is the gray one that used to belong to Granny Tootsie.)

Feb 17, 20131

Chop one bell pepper and an onion and add to the tomatoes.  You can leave the pieces large, as they are going to be pureed later.  You could also add mushrooms or additional garlic here.  (Will, you liked this best when I only had onion on hand.  Lee and John, you liked the addition of the pepper and I think might like mushrooms, as well.  I know Dad would.)

I forgot to take a photo of the next step.  (This blogging business is tricky without a professional photographer following you around.  Fine Line Photography has spoiled me, but I think you are correct, John, that I need to practice if I am ever to learn to use my new camera.)

The undocumented next step is to drizzle 3 Tbsp. olive oil onto the vegetables and add 1/2 tsp. black pepper, 2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning, 1 Tbsp. dried parsley, 2 Tbsp. dried basil, 1 1/2 garlic powder (unless you add garlic cloves when you add the vegetables) and 1/2 tsp. salt.  Stir together and place uncovered in a 400 degree oven.

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Let the vegetables roast until they look like this – about an hour.

Your house will smell amazing, and your someday roommates, wives, or children will be drawn to the delicious aroma.  (A little tip from dear Mrs. Humburg — She told me once that you can put an onion in the oven to roast if you don’t have dinner ready yet.  The smell will be so inviting that your guests or family will eagerly anticipate the meal that is to come while you get something together.  You can put out some cheese and crackers or fruit for nibbling, and they’ll not mind waiting for the meal.  Such a smart lady who definitely has the gift of hospitality!)

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Now you transfer all that roasted goodness to a pot and add 6 ounces of tomato paste.  It only saves small change, but I sometimes get a 12-oz. can and just freeze the other half for the next time.  The cost per ounce goes down a bit for some things when you buy larger quantities.

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This is my tomato paste from the freezer. Just be sure to press all the air from the bag when you freeze it to avoid freezer burn.  It will thaw quickly in the microwave if you forget to lay it out in time.

Now it’s time to use one of our favorite kitchen tools . . .

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. . . the immersion blender.

Keep at it until all the sauce is completely pureed with no chunks.

You could serve it at this point, but I know y’all prefer meat and lots of it!

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I add one pound of browned and drained ground beef.

While it simmers on low, you can cook the spaghetti noodles according to package directions.

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By the way, did you know that spaghetti noodles actually do stick to the wall when they are finished cooking?

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It’s best with Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top, but guess who forgot to take a photo of that, as well.

Sherri’s Sharp Shots still has  a ways to go . . .

Love you guys!

Mom

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