My mom cooked almost every single night. She was/is a really a good cook and thank god she did or I don’t know if I would have the habit of cooking as much as I do. Not everything was gourmet nor did it need to be. But I’ve evolved several of her standard recipes over time.
Thing is, back then, we didn’t have to obsess over high fructose corn syrup, gargantuan amounts of sugar and sodium, and god-knows-what-else was in our food. My mom could take ground beef and spaghetti sauce, season it up, pour over pasta, and it was a really good meal! A decade later it didn’t taste the same.
What did my mom do?
Ground beef, spaghetti sauce, all kinds of Italian seasonings to taste (oregano, basil, parsley, stuff like that).
What do I do now?
Ingredients (I’ve provided the minimum, though really it’s to your preference how meat or veggy; thick or thin you like your pasta sauce to be):
- 4 Hot Italian sausages (pork or chicken sausage will work fine); you can cut them or just squeeze them out of their casings (I prefer the latter)
- 2 cans canned tomatoes (so much better if you can yourself otherwise use organic canned tomatoes)
- 1 can of tomato paste
- Sautéed sliced mushrooms, chopped onions, and chopped green and red peppers (about half a pepper of each); you really need the green and the sweeter red pepper though you can substitute orange or yellow for the red. There really is no substitute for the green.
- ½ large onion
- 2-4 garlic cloves per your taste for garlic (I love garlic so use 4)
- 1 cerrano pepper, chopped finely (you don’t want to bite into a big piece of this pepper)
- 1-2 tablespoons brown sugar
- Liberal use of Italian seasonings including oregano, basil, parsley, Italian seasoning mix
- Other seasonings such as a bit of turmeric, thyme, and marjoram
- Brown the sausage first, then add the mushrooms, onions, peppers, and garlic. Mash it all together to break up the sausage.
- Add the canned tomatoes and let simmer until lightly boiling (do not over boil)
- Add the brown sugar and do not let carmelize
- Add the tomato paste to thicken to your preference.
- If the sauce is too thick, add more canned tomatoes, canned tomato sauce, or water (though I think water thins it too much)
- Salt/pepper to taste
- Simmer until thick to your preference
- Serve over pasta* with crusty bread (if you eat bread) and a side salad (my favorite salad dressing recipe to come)