26 July 2006

Recipe: Boy oh boy bolognese sauce

I have been craving spaghetti sauce for some reason -- and not the stuff that comes from the jar, nor the stuff that comes from our local pizzerias around here which is delicious, but has been cooked for literally hours in lots of salt and thus is a lot better in cold weather than in warm.
What I've been hungry for is something fresh and summery, not too heavy, but also substantial. Oh, it also needed to be ready in the half-hour before dinner time that it occurs to me that we should eat something in the evening!
So here it is -- incredibly easy and wonderful bolognese sauce. Oh my goodness, is this ever good!
Summer Bolognese Sauce
1 lb sausage or beef (we use sausage)
1 onion chopped
lots o' garlic minced
1 can no-salt organic tomatoes (or use fresh if you have them -- they're not ripe here yet!)
1-2 cups organic broth (I use beef, but veggie or chicken would work, too)
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
about 1/2 cup good red wine (I use Chianti)
Italian seasonings
any other veggies you'd like to hide i.e. carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, squash, chopped, diced, minced or shredded, depending on how well you want to hide it!

Brown the meat and add the onion and garlic toward the end of the browning time. Drain if you have a lot of grease -- we use lower fat sausage so I don't drain it. Add the broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, and wine, if using. Add the seasonings. Bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer. Taste the mix and see if it is tomato-y enough. Add more paste, if not.
Allow the mix to simmer until reduced to near-desired consistency. Add any extra veggies (note: you can add the tomatoes now instead of earlier, if you like the taste of semi-fresh tomatoes. I, myself, am not a fan). Allow to finish reducing or heat through and enjoy.
Note: This recipe makes a very meaty sauce. You can stretch it a lot by adding more broth and tomato paste or more veggies.

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