Family Size recipe
1 266g pack of your favorite pasta, I used Bavette no. 13
1 lb ground beef, rolled into eye-sized balls
4-6 peppers (sweet, mild or hot), cut in stripes
1 lb fresh mushrooms sliced
1 large onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup tomato paste
1 cup tomato sauce
1 large ripe, red tomato cut in small pieces
1 teaspoon brown sugar
Salt and black pepper per taste
Fresh oregano, basil, parsley ( em, about 1 table spoon each or a little more: loosen up will ya!)
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 chicken bouillion cube
1 cup of water or red wine
Grated favorite cheese
One Way to Do It
The most important thing to remember when cooking thick, delicious tomato-based pasta sauce is that it takes time. Two and a half hours, at least. You can cook it in 30 minutes if you’re in such a hurry, but I suggest that you open a can of tuna, squeeze a lemon on top and get fed. If you want good food, you have to wait.
Heat the butter and the olive oil in the pot over medium heat. The meatballs should be salted and spiced then thrown into the hot base with the brown sugar, being careful not to let them stick until they get that beautiful light tannish brown. Add the onions, garlic, oregano and basil then the rest of the solid ingredients gradually (after they rested in salt and pepper for a while) while stirring continuously, letting the heat at the bottom of the pot touch every single piece of delectable grub you’re going to eat later. Do that for five minutes or so.
Add the tomato paste (gradually), just don’t rush it, ok! The tomato sauce follows and the small pieces of tomato. Continue stirring and add one cup of filtered water, or red wine. I leave this one entirely up to you but you already know where my heart is ;-)
At this point, the sauce may look very thin. Don't worry, it'll get thicker with time until it reaches the perfect consistency you dreamed of. Leave over medium-high heat until it starts to boil, cover and reduce heat to low for one hour. Stir the sauce every five minutes and whisper in the pot how much you love it.
Uncover and keep the sauce barely boiling for 90 minutes, stirring every few minutes. (i.e. don’t leave food to cook itself in the kitchen while you chat with your boyfriend or watch TV) Never leave a sauce alone while cooking. It gets lonely and bitchy. You can bring a book to the kitchen if you are a bibliophile, but for the love of food, stay there!
Prepare the pasta as per the manufacturer’s recommendation. I add salt and olive oil to the water (about a teaspoon each). Drain the pasta, do not wash! I repeat! Just drain the pasta, move it to the large serving plate, pour the sauce on top with love and affection. Fake it if you have to, but until the sauce and pasta become one you have to be nice to them. Sprinkle cheese on top for visual stimulation and add to individual plates. You can splash some oil too, olive oil.
I have used so many different ingredients over the years. Veggies, the ones you like most, are delicious when cooked slowly. Use your imagination and vary your position(s), oops, I mean your ingredients.
That’s it! Bon Apetit!
Sahha wa Hana