Pasta Sauce

Pasta Sauce
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Pasta Sauce is such a classic making it’s way into every home. Everyone eats this. After trying this recipe, there is no store bought version that will compare.

There is a reason they call this Sunday Gravy. It takes a bit to make, but once you get the hang of this. It will come with ease and you will be enjoying Top Quality Pasta Sauce all the time.

Fresh Tomatoes

You can make this from fresh Tomatoes. Boiling or roasting it down to get the consistency of crushed tomatoes.
I do this with Yellow Tomatoes. If you have never had Yellow Pasta Sauce. You really need to try it. It is really good.
I just throw the tomatoes in a roasting pan and Cook for a few hours. This caramelizes the tomatoes and comes out like crushed tomatoes consistency. I then proceed to make the Pasta sauce.

Red Yellow Orange Tomatoes for pasta sauce

An interesting bit of info here. Peeling the Skin off and discarding the seeds in Tomatoes removes Lectin which makes the Tomatoes easier for Digestion. Apparently, the Tomato Skins and Seeds contain the highest amounts. Lectin is associated with inflammation. It would appear that those before us knew about this and this is the reason why peeling the tomatoes and discarding the seeds were done as suppose to being claimed it is for smoothness, although it probably does help there as well.

Stock/Broth

The terms are used interchangeably but they are slightly different. I must admit myself I use them interchangeably. But the definition is below.

Broth – is made by simmering meat in water, often with other vegetables and herbs.

Stock – is based on bones simmered in water for many hours to release the bone marrow and collagen.

broth for pasta sauce

You can use Chicken or Pork Stock/Broth for a light flavored Sauce or Beef Stock/Broth for a heavier sauce.

Aromatics

aromatics

Aromatics are the vegetables you will use as well as the Herbs & Spices. You can include any vegetables you want. The most common ones are Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Celery, Peppers. There are other reasons tied into why we use certain aromatic as well. Like for example, we use carrots to sweeten the sauce, or celery to give the sauce some zing. Onions & Garlic are umami and so on. A small amount of fennel bulb is really nice too.

There is another tip here that I find makes a huge difference that I like.
Simmer the sauce with Tomato Leaves and Vine alongside some bay leaves.

Fond Creation

Fond is tiny bits of whatever you are frying that have broken off and stick to the pan. These are loaded with flavor. You use a liquid of some kind to lift these off the pan and incorporate them into your sauce.

For Pasta Sauce we are using Broth to lift the fond up. The key thing to remember when creating the fond is not to burn it. There is a very fine line between extremely good fond and burnt. The fond should be brown to dark brown but not black.

Additional Pasta Sauce meats

If you find yourself about to burn the fond. Remove what you are frying along with any oil. Add liquid to pick the fond up and then set that liquid aside. Return what you are frying along with the oil to the pan and finish, if not already. You can repeat this process as many times to ensure you are controlling the fond development.

For this Pasta sauce, we will be using our aromatics, Ground Beef, Sausages, and Pork Chop to create a layered fond that is going to be included with our pasta sauce.

Sauce Consistency

  • Fine – is where you will blend the vegetables in a blender or food processor with the broth until very fine. Then either Strained out or Cooked and then Strained out.
  • Smooth – is where we do the same as above, but we include the pulp with the sauce.
  • Normal – Vegetables are coarsely processed- thicker than smooth but a lot smaller than chunky.
  • Chunky – chunky is where you chop the vegetables in bigger size.

If doing Normal or Chunky then set the Vegetables aside to cook with the Ground Beef for added Flavor before including them with the Sauce.

We also include Tomato Paste or make our own for consistency and taste. This will help with thickening. Cook it on medium heat with oil until you get a Thick Tomato Paste. Then add your stock to pick up any fond.

Seasoning

Pepper and Salt

The key factor for the best Pasta Sauce is not the seasoning. It’s not to say that seasoning your Pasta Sauce one way or the other won’t have an effect. Just that there is a crucial element to Pasta Sauce which relies more on the ratio of 4 vital things to the amount of sauce being used.
They are Salt, Sugar, Fat, Heat.

Sugar

The seasoning assists in what is already established in the Sauce.

Putting It Together

The Pasta Sauce consists of many parts. We put all the parts together building up the Flavor Layers and simmer the sauce with everything in it. In effect creating a broth or a richer broth. You can add bones, or use Beef Suet or Rendered Chicken Fat, both of which add more flavor. When done, you will remove the bigger piece of meat. Mince them and add them back to the sauce. This is the other thing that makes this sauce so good. it’s the different types of meat and the texture contrast of them.

Finally Adjust the Salt, Sugar, Fat, and Heat.

Once you get this process down. You can make Pasta Sauce in big batches and freeze them. Then on your next Pasta night. You don’t have to go through that process. Just prepare the pasta, heat up and serve the sauce. The beautiful thing is that this Sauce ages well. I have made many Lasagnas with this sauce and always freeze the Lasagna wrapped in tin foil. When I’m in the mood for Lasagna I pop one of these into the oven. Good every time.

Quick Tomato Sauce

Looking for something even faster with minimal effort but still taste fantastic. While this is a different tasting sauce it still works really well wherever a Pasta or Tomato Sauce is required. Ready in 10 minutes. Check out my Quick Tomato Sauce Recipe

Pasta Sauce

The Best Seasoned Sunday Gravy with Mixed Meats. The Flavor is built up in layers and then simmered for 1 Hour to soften the large pieces of meat before they are minced and placed back into the sauce. Makes about 7 – 8 Cups of Sauce, perfect amount for Lasagna.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Main Course, Sauce
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian Pasta Sauce, Pasta Sauce, Sunday Gravy
Servings: 7 Cups
Author: JAH

Ingredients

Sauce

  • 4 C Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 C Broth
  • 1/3 C Olive Oil
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Celery
  • 5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Red Pepper – see notes
  • 1 tsp Red Wine Vinegar

Meats

  • 1/2 lbs Ground Beef or more
  • 2 Italian Sausages
  • 1 Pork Chop or Steak Bone in with Fat

Seasoning

  • 2 Tbl Sugar
  • 1 Tbl Kosher Salt, Marjoram & Parsley
  • 1 tsp Cornstarch & Tomato Flakes
  • 1/2 tsp Basil, Black Pepper, Fennel Seeds, Oregano, Red Chili Flakes, Savory, & Thyme
  • 1/4 tsp Ground Rosemary
  • 1/8 tsp Ground Clove

Instructions

Preparation

  • Place the Crushed Tomatoes in a bowl and set aside for now.
  • In a Blender or Food Processor Add 2 C Broth, Carrot, Celery, Garlic, Onion and Pepper with Red Wine Vinegar and blend until desired Chunkiness or Smoothness. Place this into a bowl and set aside.
  • Combine All of the Seasonings and set aside.

Cooking

  • In a Large Skillet or Wok over medium heat Cook the Ground Beef until done. Place the Ground Meat into a Large Pot reserving some of the grease to cook the Sausages and Pork Chop or other Cut of Meat until Browned. Place the meat inside the Large Pot with the ground Meat.
  • Add the Oil to the Large Skillet or Wok and 1 C of the Crushed Tomatoes. Whisk together well until the Crushed Tomatoes absorb the Oil. Continue to cook mixing once in awhile until reduced to a Thick Tomato Paste.
  • Add the Bowl with the Broth and Vegetables. Mix well. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Empty into the Large Pot with the other ingredients.

Simmering

  • Add the remaining Crushed Tomatoes & Seasoning to the Large Pot. Bring to a Boil and then a gentle simmer covered. Mix once in awhile and cook for 1 hour. This will further cook the meat if not already as well as soften the meat.
  • After 1 Hour. Remove the large Pieces of meat and let cool a bit before chopping up to add back to the sauce. Remove the Sauce from the Heat and Adjust the Seasoning.

Notes

Red Pepper – The kind I use is Jarred Roasted Red Pepper although you can use small Red Bell Pepper.
For Added flavor throw in some Beef Suet and/or Tomato leaves and vine and some Bay Leaves. These give a unique characteristic to the sauce.
I have heard but never tried. Fish Sauce. It kind of makes sense. Chefs include anchovies in the sauce for umami taste so why not fish sauce. Just a dash. I am however reluctant. I will have to do this sometime, just to see.
 

Variations

  • You can add 1/2 Cup of Cream or more to get a creamy tomato sauce.
  • Add 1 Packet of Onions Soup Mix to get a excellent Onion Tomato Gravy.
  • Add 1 Can Cream of mushroom soup for a Mushroom Cream Tomato Gravy. Or other cream of soup.
  • Add different types of Cheese into the sauce.
  • Vegan Pasta Sauce – Chop 1 lbs Mushrooms or more, Coarse (Like little bits of ground beef) and combine with Oats, pan fry on high heat with oil in place of ground meat and use vegetable stock for vegan Pasta Sauce.