Auntie M’s Famous Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti sauceWell… since my friend Sandy requested it, and it seems to be all I’m doing lately… I thought I’d take a minute between batches to post my famous spaghetti sauce recipe.

Okay, maybe it’s not so famous.

And I guess it’s not exactly mine – I got it from my sister-in-law Karen. But I have made it for years and served it often to family and guests.

I call it spaghetti sauce – but it’s really an all-purpose Italian sauce that we also use on pizza and in lasagna and cavatini.

It’s not hard – it just takes time!

First – get a bunch of tomatoes.   And I do mean a bunch! Then wash them and make them into puree.

My favorite way to do this is with my handy-dandy Victorio strainer. I purchased this amazing piece of equipment 20 years ago at an Amish store and love it! You can buy them on Amazon – and I highly recommend it! Mine paid for itself the first year and has saved me money (even made me money!) ever since.

If you don’t have a Victorio – you can also skin the tomatoes, blend them in a blender and push them through a sieve to remove the seeds.

Once you have the puree – you measure it, do the math to figure out how many batches you have and begin.

Auntie M’s famous Spaghetti Sauce

33 cups of tomato puree
1 whole onion (just cut it in half)
1 or 2 green peppers (just cut it in half and seed it)
6 bay leaves

Put the tomato puree in a large, heavy pot. Throw in the onion, pepper and bay leaves. (Don’t worry about fine chopping these – we’ll fish them out later!)

Bring to a boil over high heat, watching it carefully that it doesn’t boil over and stir it often.

Once it has boiled, cook for 2 hours, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, make your “slurry”.

What’s a slurry you ask? It’s the short cut to making a rich, thick spaghetti sauce without cooking tomatoes on the stove for hours.

The secret – tomato paste.  I mix the tomato paste and the spices to make what we call the slurry. Then I add the cooked tomato sauce and mix it to bring everything to the perfect consistency!

Slurry

9 – six ounce cans of tomato paste
1-1/2  tablespoons black pepper
1-1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
4- 1/2 tablespoons salt
1/2 up to 1 – 1/2 cups of sugar
3 tablespoons dried basil
5 tablespoons dried oregano leaves

In a very large bowl, mix together the tomato paste, pepper, garlic powder, salt, sugar, basil and oregano.

Carefully ladle the hot tomato sauce through a strainer (to fish out the well-cooked pepper and onions) into the slurry mixture.

Stir till combined.

Pack into sterilized jars and can in a boiling water bath for 35 minutes.

Makes 7 quarts.

Some hints –

I always double the recipe and put it in my heavy 18 quart stock pot. The heavier the stock pot the better. Flimsy light weight ones will cause scorching and frustration. Trust me – I learned this the hard way.

As for the sugar – you can add as much or as little as you wish.  I use 1/2 cup per batch which is just enough to take down the acidity of the tomatoes.