Spaghetti sauce is very personal. Everyone has their favorite sauce, the way their grandmother made it every Sunday after church, or the way their father taught them while they stood on a step stool next to the stove, but without hesitation, I can say that homemade sauce will always be better than store-bought sauce. Always. I can still conjure up a perfect memory of my grandfather bringing over stone crab claws to serve with my father’s perfectly delicate red sauce, and countless more Sunday dinners that began with a bubbling pot of sauce on the stove under my father’s watchful eye.
This recipe is one I have adapted over the years; my father’s is a bit different. You can put your own twist on this recipe, but rest assured it will be more delicious than the $3 (or even the expensive $8) a jar sauce. And guess what? You don’t even need to be Italian to make a great sauce (it helps, though).
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce (Lubrano Version)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped (No need to shave it on a razor blade like they do in Goodfellas)
- 1-2 carrots, diced (my father excludes this, but I feel like it helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes)
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 – 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 – 28 oz. can of tomato sauce
- Splash of wine – I use white, my father doesn’t use any wine.
- Tomato paste – I don’t use any, but I have included it in the event you want a thicker sauce (a tablespoon would suffice).
- 5 basil leaves – fresh, chopped
- 1 tsp. of dried oregano
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Parmesan cheese, grated to taste
- Super Secret Ingredient: a pinch of red pepper flakes
*As always, my measurements are an estimate; since we aren’t baking, you don’t need to worry about being too precise. If you want more garlic for Al Pacino’s sake, add more garlic.
Set all of your ingredients out on your counter, cutting board, table, or what have you. Make sure you have everything you need, because you are not going to want to run out to the store mid-sauce preparation.
Clean, cut, dice and chop all the vegetables (do not chop the basil until you are ready to use it or it will bruise).
Now that your chopping and dicing is complete, get your big sauce pot out and warm that baby up to medium.
Add roughly 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil to the pan and give that a minute to heat up. Then, add in the diced onions, followed by the chopped garlic on top of the bed of onions. Season with salt and pepper, add in the oregano and pepper flakes and saute until the onions are translucent. Stand over the pot and breath in that awesome aroma.
Add a splash or two of white wine and let that cook down for a minute. (I know, I know – you think it should be red wine – BUT I do not drink red wine, so it’s not worth it to me to buy a whole bottle for this recipe).
Add in your cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Then, fill one of the cans with water and add that to the sauce. You could omit this if you like a really like sauce, but I prefer a thinner sauce. (Don’t forget to save your cans for craft projects!)
Bring the sauce to a boil, stirring often and then turn it down to low, cover and let it simmer for AT LEAST 30 min, but better is longer. Check the seasoning here – more salt and pepper might be necessary.
Before serving, portion out the amount of sauce you want to freeze and let it cool before pouring it into double-lined freezer bags (this stores better than in a plastic container).
Add the chopped basil to your sauce, then toss in the pasta of your choosing. If you are so inclined, grate some delicious parmesan (the undisputed king of cheeses) over the top of that pot of deliciousness.
Serve to your hungry family and wait for the compliments.
This also pairs well with my Florentine Turkey Meatballs – recipe to come!