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NFT: Favorite red sauce for pasta

adamg : 5/21/2020 7:11 am
Puttanesca? Bolognese? Amatriciana? Sunday gravy?

What's your favorite? Any tricks and tips to making a better red sauce? Best pasta sauce/combos? Any family recipes you can share?

Pasta is seeing me through the quarantine. Enjoying the food threads lately. Figured we might as well have a homemade sauce thread after the bottled sauce one...

My favorite is probably Bolognese with fettuccini  
adamg : 5/21/2020 7:14 am : link
Puttanesca with spaghetti and amatriciana with bucatini are tied for second.

I've never had a real Sunday gravy Italian American style, so I have no comparison with that...
arrabiata  
Saquads26 : 5/21/2020 7:52 am : link
With spaghetti, sausage, peppers and onions.
arrabiata  
viggie : 5/21/2020 7:59 am : link
cherry peppers, onions, broccolirabe
It depends  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 8:12 am : link
what the sauce is going on.

If it's simply some kind of pasta, then I like a traditional marinara. No meat. I may add meatballs and/or sausage to the pasta, but for me the sauce has to be traditional marinara.

Also if it's any type of parmigiana it's also got to be traditional marinara

If I'm making American chop suey or something like a meatball sub, I like a bolognese (with different meat than the meatballs to give it some variety)

if it's with seafood I like a spicy fra diavolo.
My Grandma's Sauce - God rest her soul -  
SteelGiant : 5/21/2020 8:27 am : link
obviously there are exceptions when we are talking about aioli for pasta with clams or fra diavolo for seafood pasta. But as a standard its the Sunday dinner gravy which has the hunk of meat stewing at the bottom of the pot steaming up the entire house with aroma that will always time travel my senses to being a kid. Hands down.
Blood..  
Ryan : 5/21/2020 9:25 am : link
.
if we are talking just pasta and sauce  
bigbluehoya : 5/21/2020 9:31 am : link
probably bolognese.

RE: if we are talking just pasta and sauce  
bigbluehoya : 5/21/2020 9:32 am : link
In comment 14907916 bigbluehoya said:
Quote:
probably bolognese.


meant to add, perhaps with a little dollop or 3 of good quality ricotta.
For my wife and I we generally have pasta as a side rather than coarse  
bigblue1124 : 5/21/2020 9:37 am : link
#1 Cavatelli aglio e olio with basil and oregano
#2 Gnocchi Bolognese
#3 Fettuccini Carbonara
Sunday gravy with sausage, meatball & braciola on special occasions but that’s all we do nothing else other than bread and maybe braised kale or rappini for a side.
The best red sauce I’ve ever had ...  
Jim from Katonah : 5/21/2020 10:05 am : link
... is the sauce my wife has been making recently. She takes onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, fresh spinach, and dried mushrooms (from the farmers market) — which I’ve never had until recently (and which look just like “shrooms” but sadly aren’t lol) — and purées them into mush in a food processor, then pours on top of hot olive oil and simmers for a while, then puts a few cans of crushed tomato on top, with finely chopped basil, salt, and a half a thing of Kerry butter, and simmers for a few hours. She usually puts a little more raw garlic in just before serving over fresh fettucine with freshly grated pecorino, and an 8 oz, I mean 12 oz pour of red wine.

The dried mushrooms in particular create a magically deep, rich, crazily delicious flavor. Holy crap.
RE: The best red sauce I’ve ever had ...  
adamg : 5/21/2020 10:27 am : link
In comment 14907939 Jim from Katonah said:
Quote:
... is the sauce my wife has been making recently. She takes onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, fresh spinach, and dried mushrooms (from the farmers market) — which I’ve never had until recently (and which look just like “shrooms” but sadly aren’t lol) — and purées them into mush in a food processor, then pours on top of hot olive oil and simmers for a while, then puts a few cans of crushed tomato on top, with finely chopped basil, salt, and a half a thing of Kerry butter, and simmers for a few hours. She usually puts a little more raw garlic in just before serving over fresh fettucine with freshly grated pecorino, and an 8 oz, I mean 12 oz pour of red wine.

The dried mushrooms in particular create a magically deep, rich, crazily delicious flavor. Holy crap.


Good stuff. I wouldn't have thought of dried mushrooms in a tomato sauce. That sounds delicious.
RE: RE: The best red sauce I’ve ever had ...  
Jim from Katonah : 5/21/2020 10:45 am : link
In comment 14907965 adamg said:
Quote:
In comment 14907939 Jim from Katonah said:


Quote:


... is the sauce my wife has been making recently. She takes onions, carrots, garlic, mushrooms, fresh spinach, and dried mushrooms (from the farmers market) — which I’ve never had until recently (and which look just like “shrooms” but sadly aren’t lol) — and purées them into mush in a food processor, then pours on top of hot olive oil and simmers for a while, then puts a few cans of crushed tomato on top, with finely chopped basil, salt, and a half a thing of Kerry butter, and simmers for a few hours. She usually puts a little more raw garlic in just before serving over fresh fettucine with freshly grated pecorino, and an 8 oz, I mean 12 oz pour of red wine.

The dried mushrooms in particular create a magically deep, rich, crazily delicious flavor. Holy crap.



Good stuff. I wouldn't have thought of dried mushrooms in a tomato sauce. That sounds delicious.


Never had them until recently — intense flavor and if puréed enough, creates intense depth. Or maybe that’s the pint glass of wine talking ....
Bon Appétit Chicken Parm  
giantfan2000 : 5/21/2020 11:05 am : link
I made this last week - it was just killer
I never thought about using a thickened tomato sauce
but it was incredible it kept the chicken crisp and intensified the tomato flavor

and btw Bon Appetit Youtube channel is the best .. it seems to have developed a cult following
worth watching
youtube Bon Appétit Chicken Parm - ( New Window )
Sunday Gravy...  
x meadowlander : 5/21/2020 11:49 am : link
...big pot.

Medium high heat, brown 1+ lbs bone-in country style ribs in Olive oil.

Remove ribs from pot, lower heat to medium. Make sure there is still oil in bottom of pot - add 4 cloves crushed garlic. After 30 seconds, add 1 can of tomato paste, scrape meat chunks off bottom, then dump in 4 large cans crushed tomatoes, 1 can of beef broth.

Dump ribs back in.

Add 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp pepper. 1 tbsp. oregano, about a half tbsp. basil.

Once bubbling, set heat to low.

LET IT RIDE ALL DAY, at LEAST 8 hours! Stir frequently.

When there's about a half hour left, add any other meats along for the ride, meatballs, sausage, pepperoni, pork chops, whatever.

Over years I've learned quality of tomatoes doesn't matter nearly as much as TIME. The longer that sauce cooks, the sweeter it gets.

RE: My Grandma's Sauce - God rest her soul -  
rnargi : 5/21/2020 12:05 pm : link
In comment 14907876 SteelGiant said:
Quote:
obviously there are exceptions when we are talking about aioli for pasta with clams or fra diavolo for seafood pasta. But as a standard its the Sunday dinner gravy which has the hunk of meat stewing at the bottom of the pot steaming up the entire house with aroma that will always time travel my senses to being a kid. Hands down.


/concur end thread
RE: RE: My Grandma's Sauce - God rest her soul -  
adamg : 5/21/2020 1:27 pm : link
In comment 14908086 rnargi said:
Quote:
In comment 14907876 SteelGiant said:


Quote:


obviously there are exceptions when we are talking about aioli for pasta with clams or fra diavolo for seafood pasta. But as a standard its the Sunday dinner gravy which has the hunk of meat stewing at the bottom of the pot steaming up the entire house with aroma that will always time travel my senses to being a kid. Hands down.



/concur end thread


Any secret recipes you're willing to give this ol' chunk of coal?
RE: RE: RE: My Grandma's Sauce - God rest her soul -  
rnargi : 5/21/2020 1:42 pm : link
In comment 14908195 adamg said:
Quote:
In comment 14908086 rnargi said:


Quote:


In comment 14907876 SteelGiant said:


Quote:


obviously there are exceptions when we are talking about aioli for pasta with clams or fra diavolo for seafood pasta. But as a standard its the Sunday dinner gravy which has the hunk of meat stewing at the bottom of the pot steaming up the entire house with aroma that will always time travel my senses to being a kid. Hands down.



/concur end thread



Any secret recipes you're willing to give this ol' chunk of coal?



Every once in a while I get asked for this, so here you go:

Sunday Gravy

6 cans good San Marzano toms, run through a food mill to de-seed them
½ cup of Locatelli Parmesan, grated. (You can also add a piece of “heel” or rind from the cheese, whole, and fish out later.)
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup rough chopped or torn basil
3 bay leaves
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary
Black pepper to taste
Salt to taste
Red pepper if you like it, to taste
3 cloves garlic, whole

Mix together, bring to boil while stirring to keep it from sticking, turn down to low and simmer for 3-5 hours. Taste occasionally and add more of whatever you like or think it needs. If it gets too thick, add a little red wine or water. If it’s too thin, add a can of paste. I do all of this by memory with no recipe, so this is all just a guide to help you along.

Meatballs

In a cast iron or other very heavy skillet, add about ½ inch of olive oil and half inch or vegetable oil and heat to medium heat. Add one sliced onion and fry until about ½ way brown, then add about 6 cloves of rough chopped garlic and keep frying until everything is well browned. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon. This is done to flavor the oil. I snack on them most of the day while cooking. Your oil is now ready for frying the meatballs.

3lbs meatloaf mix (veal, pork, beef)
1.5 cups Italian bread crumbs (I use Progresso)
3 slices white bread, soaked in milk then squeezed dry
8 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup finely chopped parsley
1 cup romano cheese, grated
2 eggs to start. You might need another if it’s not sticking well. You do NOT want it too moist that they won’t set up so be sure you need an extra egg. If you think it’s a little dry but doesn’t need another egg, add a few splashes of red wine or milk if you don’t want to use wine.
1 tbsp black pepper
1 tsp salt (the cheese and bread crumbs have plenty already)
1 tsp dried oregano

Mix everything together and roll into balls on a piece of wax paper somewhere near the frying pan. Fry 5 – 6 at a time (don’t overcrowd the skillet), turning rapidly to seal, then fry on all sides until browned. Don’t let them get too much or a crust. Remove to bowl until all meatballs are fried.

Fry 5 links (I cut mine in half so there are 10 pieces) of good Italian sweet sausage, again until browned on all sides, remove to bowl with meatballs.

Fry 5 decent size country style pork ribs (bones are ok) until browned, remove to the bowl with meatballs and sausage.

At this point, your sauce should have been simmering for about an hour or two. Add ALL meat to sauce, trying not to add too much oil from the bottom of the bowl. A little is ok.

Simmer the gravy with the meat, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick, for about 2-3 hours to finish cooking the meat. Ideally, the pork will literally fall apart which is a great indication that everything is cooked through.
Awesomme. Thank rnargi  
adamg : 5/21/2020 1:50 pm : link
Next chance I have to cook for a group, I'm making your gravy. Sounds excellent. Do you have it with spaghetti or just the meat?
Any kind of macaroni you like...  
rnargi : 5/21/2020 2:05 pm : link
On Sunday, it's usually with a lasagna, ravioli, or just a big plate of rigatoni
I'm a big Ametricana fan personally  
PatersonPlank : 5/21/2020 2:09 pm : link
Especially if you can get really good pancetta
RE: I'm a big Ametricana fan personally  
adamg : 5/21/2020 2:51 pm : link
In comment 14908219 PatersonPlank said:
Quote:
Especially if you can get really good pancetta
This was Sunday dinner at my house. I'll always have a soft spot for it.
All the above sound great.  
CRinCA : 5/21/2020 7:39 pm : link
Honorable mention to a nice red clam sauce with thin spaghetti.
You start out with a little bit of oil...  
Jim in Fairfax : 5/21/2020 8:53 pm : link
Then you fry some garlic. Then you throw in some tomatoes, tomato paste, you fry it; you make sure it doesn’t stick. You get it to a boil; you shove in all your sausage and your meatballs, eh? Add a little bit a wine… and a little bit a sugar… and that’s my trick.

RE: All the above sound great.  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 8:58 pm : link
In comment 14908454 CRinCA said:
Quote:
Honorable mention to a nice red clam sauce with thin spaghetti.


went most of my life with only ever having white clam sauce. I guess my mother always preferred it to red (and to be honest I didn't even know red was a thing). Plus I love a good white clam sauce.

As an adult I had red for the first time and loved it.
pj  
CRinCA : 5/21/2020 9:25 pm : link
I love a good white clam sauce as well, but I might tilt towards red sauce in general given my enthusiasm for lobster Fra Diavlo etc.
RE: pj  
pjcas18 : 5/21/2020 9:31 pm : link
In comment 14908491 CRinCA said:
Quote:
I love a good white clam sauce as well, but I might tilt towards red sauce in general given my enthusiasm for lobster Fra Diavlo etc.


Definitely. seafood fra diavolo is one of my favorite dishes. And I've had it with shrimp, crab legs, lobster, or even a frutti di mare like dish with mixed shellfish (clams, mussels, scallops, shrimp, etc). One of my favorite meals - especially with some good Italian bread.
X Medowlander's Sauce is da best!  
oldhemi : 5/21/2020 10:00 pm : link
I have always meant to thank him for posting his Sunday sauce. I have made it 3 times. 1st time, I used non-bone-in country ribs. I was DRINKING that sauce while it was cooking, it was that good! 2nd time I used short ribs with bone. I burnt the bones! 3rd time I used a chunk of butt - good as 1st time. I cant find bone-in country ribs here in my neighborhood in Houston. X-man even included a recipe for meatballs which is almost exactly like mine! I also cut down on cooking time because its done after 4 or so hours. Took me awhile trying to figure out where I have tasted this style before. Came to me - Sundays at Granpa's in the 50's with the cooking being done by several of my aunt's.
I made very few modification's - no Wegmans here, I used Muir Glen Fire Roasted 'maters, previously mentioned different pork, smaller sized meatballs - 1/4 or 1/3 cup size, I also do not fry my meatballs and sausage anymore, I cook them in the sauce for an hour or two after cooking the sauce for a couple of hours. I also had bone broth on hand - stronger in a good way than beef broth. Xman does not mention it, but I think he meant cooking it this long uncovered. I have done it covered, uncovered and alternating. These methods affect the thickness and taste to some degree.

Try it guys, I don't think you will regret it. Here it is:

Sauce/Gravy/Whatever from x medowlander on BBI on Jan 5th 2019:
- 2 oz Veg Oil
- 1 Lb bone-in country style pork ribs
- 1 can tomato paste
- 3 fat cloves garlic, crushed
- 4 28oz cans Wegman's Organic crushed tomatoes
- at least 28 oz beef broth

Big pot. High heat, get oil going, brown ribs on both sides.
Remove ribs from pan, cut heat to low, give it a couple of minutes to cool so the garlic doesn't burn.
Garlic goes in for about 30 seconds.
Add tomato paste, deglaze bottom of pot with it, scraping the bits off the bottom. Work quick so garlic doesn't burn.
Tomatoes go in, all of em.
Add 28 oz beef broth, put the ribs back in.
Bring to a boil, lower heat and let it cook at LEAST 8 hours. If it gets overly thick, add more broth.
After an hour or so, begin seasoning to taste. I prefer to keep it simple, salt, pepper, oregano. Long sauce with all that pork and eventually meatballs will have plenty of flavor.

MEATBALLS:
- 4 slices white sandwich bread (no crusts)
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 2 lbs ground beef/pork/turkey (I prefer all beef)
- 1/2 cup GOOD parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons minced FRESH parsley
- 2 large egg yolks
- 2 small cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- Vegetable oil
- Red Wine

Pour fat glass of red wine. Start drinkin'. :)
Use a food processor to make bread crumbs from the bread slices (no crusts).
In a large bowl, or better yet - Kitchen Aid Mixer bowl - add bread crumbs.
Add buttermilk to bowl, stir. After 5 minutes, bread crumbs have fully absorbed buttermilk.
Add egg yolks, parmesan, chopped parsley to bowl. Add meat, salt, pepper.
Roast ONE of the garlic cloves - in a frying pan, skin on for a few minutes.
Mince both the fresh and roasted clove - both go into the bowl.
If you have the Kitchen Aid, fire it up. Easy peasy. If not, wash your hands and go to town mixing it all well.
1/2 cup of meatball mixture per ball. Wet measuring cup works great. Shape each ball, put em on a large platter or pan, refrigerate for at least a half hour so they hold their shape better when you fry them.
Add 1/4" of vegetable oil to a cast iron pan. (Cast iron has mojo) Medium-High heat. Fry in smaller batches, no more than 8 or 9 per or you wind up with too much liquid, boiled balls instead of fried. I use 2 wooden spoons to turn. If there IS too much liquid, drain it, add and heat more oil and continue with the next batch.
When all balls are cooked, deglaze the pan with about a 1/4 cup of the red wine. Scrape browned bits.
IF what is now in that pan looks and smells delicious, add to the pot of sauce. If instead, it looks and smells like black, cigarette ash carbon, throw it out.

When there's about an hour til' dinner, put the balls and any other meats you want (cooked sausage, pepperoni, pork chops) into the sauce. Flavors both meat and sauce.

Fresh pasta is better.

And make sure you've got a loaf or two of killer Italian Bread.

Enjoy.

Start with two very large Spanish onions thinly sliced  
BlueLou'sBack : 5/21/2020 10:05 pm : link
sauteed in evoo over a medium flame that's stirred frequently for 10 minutes, then add 8-10 large cloves peeled and lightly smashed garlic cloves, whole, and lower the flame and cook covered until all is a sight, very lightly caramelized mass.

Then add 3 28 oz cans crushed or whole peeled tomatoes of good quality and a mass of fresh herbs including rosemary,thyme, oregano (the best oregano is Zatar, or Syrian oregano), a few Bay leaves, marjoram, maybe some lavender but not too much, all stripped from their vwoody stems.

Bring just to a boil and then simmer 1-2 hours, depending on thickness desired.

Allow to cool moderately, remover herbs stems left and bay leaves, add plenty of fresh ground pepper and puree with a blender stick. Season to taste with salt and sugar if needed. Makes about 2 liters of sauce.

pj  
CRinCA : 5/21/2020 10:15 pm : link
This reminds me I have like 2 pounds of Costco langoustinos tucked away in my freezer.

Fra Diavolo this weekend.
what are some good alternatives for a red wine  
bc4life : 5/21/2020 10:24 pm : link
in the sauce. Not a big Chianti fan
Lou  
CRinCA : 5/21/2020 10:50 pm : link
No lavender. And I mean that nicely.
RE: Lou  
BlueLou'sBack : 5/21/2020 11:02 pm : link
In comment 14908524 CRinCA said:
Quote:
No lavender. And I mean that nicely.


A small amount relative to the others, for sure. You know it's common in herbes de Provence, right?

Nothing wrong with a tomato sauce in the Proveçal style... IMO.
RE: what are some good alternatives for a red wine  
BlueLou'sBack : 5/21/2020 11:03 pm : link
In comment 14908508 bc4life said:
Quote:
in the sauce. Not a big Chianti fan


White wine.
Lou  
CRinCA : 5/22/2020 11:18 am : link
Herbs de Provence was the first thing I thought of.

The second thing was no lavender in my sauce!
.  
Dave in Hoboken : 5/22/2020 1:37 pm : link
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