Monday, May 22, 2017

Recipe: Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

When my old father was a child, spaghetti was a brand new item.  People bought it and then didn't know what to do with it.  One recipe - possibly the only recipe - that involved spaghetti was slumgullion.  My paternal grandmother (Jess) used to make it, and according to my father it was every bit as appetizing as the name suggests.  The dish featured spaghetti noodles, beef grease, and a random selection of overcooked vegetables.  When Dad got older he refused to eat it, and would go out and buy his dinner at a diner down the street.  My grandfather (Marion) would eat it, mainly because he was too much of a Scottish tightwad to do otherwise.

Time passed, my father married, and eventually my mother fixed spaghetti for dinner.  The old whiskey man had a second cocktail before dinner, or so I'm told, then braced himself and tried it.

He asked for seconds.

So here's the recipe for my mother's spaghetti sauce, which I'm having tonight.

Mom's Spaghetti Sauce
It's got another hour and a half to cook.  I'll be eating around 7:00 PM, a civilized hour for dinner.

What's Cookin'?
Here's the recipe, as given to me by my mother.


Mom's Spaghetti Sauce

Ground Beef, 1 pound
Onion, 1 Med.
Green Pepper, 1
Mushrooms, 8 oz.  (Baby Bellas)
Chopped Tomatoes, 1 Large Can
Tomato Paste, 1 small can
Vegetable Oil
Sugar, 1 Tablespoon
Cayenne Pepper, 1 pinch
Garlic, 3 cloves, minced finely
Olive Oil, 2 or 3 tablespoons to taste
Red Wine (dry), ¼ to ½ cup to taste
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Chop the onion and green pepper and sauté them in vegetable oil.  Add the ground beef and sauté it, making sure to break it all up.  Add the tomatoes, sugar, garlic, olive oil, red wine, and any spices.  Cook the sauce until it's ready to eat, about 2 or 3 hours on simmer.  The tomatoes should be cooked down.

I omitted the sugar, used canned tomatoes with no salt added, and added 8 ounces of mushrooms.  Once assembled, the sauce should cook for about an hour or so with the lid on, then another hour or two with the lid off.  Stir it every once in a while.

Mom would make this for dinner every once in a while, and just smelling that sauce cooking caused the clock to begin keeping a different kind of time - called in a little while by mothers everywhere, but known as 6 to 8 months by their children.

Bon appétit!