Sunday, November 3, 2013

My Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce

My dad had been gone for a little over a year now, and I think about him and miss him every day. My dad was probably a foodie before it was fashionable to be a foodie. Even in has last few years when everything became difficult for him, he still enjoyed his food. I saw him every Thursday the last four years of his life, and we bonded over our lunches of sandwiches, salads and soup from our favorite café.

He loved nothing better than a well prepared meal whether at his gourmet group, a good friend’s house, a favorite restaurant or at home. And, if the meal came with his favorite Jordan Cabernet Sauvignon, all the better!

When I was growing up, my mom put a nutritious, if uninspired, meal on the table every weeknight, but the kitchen was my dad’s on the weekends. Dad was a master on the grill. His barbeque chicken was amazing with juicy, succulent meat and crispy skin. The neighbors always requested his chicken on the 4th of July.

He enjoyed puttering around the kitchen too trying new recipes, and I enjoyed his endeavors (his ratatouille not withstanding). My hands-down favorite meal was his spaghetti. I knew it was going to be a good day when he would start making his spaghetti sauce in the morning.

Dad’s sauce is rich and hearty. He most often just stirred the sauce into the spaghetti, but sometimes he would add hot Italian sausage to the sauce to add a different level of flavor.

I’ve made this sauce for years, and I have made some changes here and there, but I still love the sauce just as my dad made it. This is his recipe just as written, and just as I remember.

My Dad’s Spaghetti Sauce
Printable Recipe
¼ olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds lean ground beef
½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped parsley
1 teaspoon dried basil
4 teaspoons kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
2 teaspoons sugar
2-6 oz cans tomato paste
1 cup dry red wine
2-28oz cans plum tomatoes
2 bay leaves

In a large Dutch oven, heat the olive oil and add the onion and garlic and sauté until soft. Stir in the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Move the ground beef mixture to the edges of the pan, and add the celery and parsley, and sauté for one minute. Add the basil, salt, black pepper, sugar and tomato paste and stir into the ground beef mixture to combine. Stir in the red wine, plum tomatoes and bay leaves. Bring the sauce to a boil, and then turn the heat down and simmer, stirring occasionally. Simmer until the sauce has thickened. Remove bay leaves, and serve over cooked spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese. Makes 12 servings.

1 comment:

  1. Janice -- can't wait to try this out on Charlie!



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