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Any Favorite Spaghetti Gravy/Sauce Recipes ?

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Chat' started by Joe Strummer, Jun 25, 2020.

  1. Joe Strummer

    Joe Strummer VIP Whale

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    I want to make my own now -
    I'm checking famous chef recipes
    But was wondering about any tips/advice to add -
    ......did you notice I wrote " gravy" first ?
    I had an Italian GF who made her own " gravy "
    but I was too busy running our rock band and Men's Softball
    to ever pay attention to her recipe.
    I know she left it on the stove for hours !.......and it was good.
    so ?......
     
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  2. ken2v

    ken2v Wish I was in Bend

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    I just PM'd our recipe.
     
  3. thegov2k2

    thegov2k2 High-Roller

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    I don't have a recipe, but I do know that canned San Marzano tomatoes make the best sauce. We use Cento brand.
     
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  4. epWick

    epWick Low-Roller

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    Don't follow a recipe exactly, make it your own. Saute garlic, maybe onion in olive oil, add small can tomato paste, herbs, salt, pepper, couple cups of chicken stock; stir. Add a couple 30oz cans tomato sauce, heat to simmer. Drop Italian sausage or meatballs in raw. Stew slowly 4 hours or overnight. You can use a slow cooker.

    The Italian sausage in my area is homemade at several markets and contains no fennel. Fennel wrecks sauce and stabs you in the gums. It's not sweet either, it has a lot of garlic and black pepper with other seasonings.
     
  5. epWick

    epWick Low-Roller

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    Beccosausage.com

    Tom and Frank used to make 100# per day by hand then close when they sold out. The market was a block from my house. A local supermarket makes it now, they both have passed. Word has it that Frank used to fly to Vegas and frequent the poker rooms.
     
  6. Multifarious5

    Multifarious5 VIP Whale

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    When I make sauce, I first pan fry a blend of sausage and ground beef, with a good amount of chopped onions and a bunch of garlic. (Minced, garlic pressed or frozen, but not just granulated or dried, I add these to the sauce later.) You can also add mushrooms to this mix if you like mushrooms. They actually make a great filler and have that meaty flavor!

    Tip, garlic cooks FAST, add it at the end of the meat cooking cycle, maybe when only 3 minutes left to cook before draining?

    Once cooked, I drain most of the grease, but not all

    Once the meat and fresh garlic and onions are cooked, I then add a blend of canned crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. I also add dried basil and oregeno to taste. Even though I have fresh cooked garlic and onion in the cooked meat, I do still throw in some granulated garlic and onion to the tomatoe sauce as it cooks, and a couple of pitches of red chili flakes. Maybe one tablespoon sugar, or none. (I really don't like a sweet sauce. Usually I only add a smidge of sugar if I find I went crazy on the garlic and onion. I just add enough to soften it, not sweeten it.)

    Simmer for hours. I then add a few pods frozen garlic and frozen basil at the end. Cook more. (I use Dorot a lot. I use bulbs like crazy, but for $2.00, Frozen garlic and basil are great to have in the freezer if you find you want a smidge more!)

    dorot-garlic-purple-square.jpg
    Once close to done, I add salt in small increments, cook some, taste, add some, cook, taste, repeat, till I like the taste. Finally, I do add a couple pats of butter for fat.... enhances the flavor. I am a "cook to taste" cook, versus going off a firm recipe, but the above has worked well for me on a meat sauce.

    Being a meat fiend, I also usually cook up a batch of homemade meatballs to add to the meat sauce (groundbeef, sausage, sougdough soaked in buttermilk, oregeno, basic, garlic, salt, and I actually DO have to have fennel seed in my meatballs, but depends on the person.) I bake the meatballs halfway, then finish in the sauce.

    But, for just a basic "gravy," if you stick to the essentials (tomatoes, basil, oregeno, garlic, salt to taste, meat, and whatever else you like), it actually require more time than effort.... And it'll be hard to go back to the overly-sugared jarred sauces!

    The beauty of homemade sauce, you can start simple, and tweak how you like. My big tip is to salt towards the end, as you'll find as the sauce cooks down, it makes the flavors stronger. So what tastes perfect on salt in the beginning, can be too salty later on.

    Cooking time is a biggie on pasta sauces, versus needing a ton of effort. Long and slow. And remember, keep the temperature low... simmer longer for hours. Maybe 2-3 out of 10 on burner level scale!

    Good luck Joe, and start simple, then expand. Make sure it's a FUN journey, not a "must do" checklist. We'll throw a ton of steps at you, as we love cooking and have had years to play with it. Just start simple, and try more and more as you find your groove.

    PS Joe, I am pretty sure you are officially RETIRED as of a couple of days ago!!!!! Huge congratulations for you.... I am SOOOO jealous, enjoy for us too!
     
    Last edited: Jun 26, 2020
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  7. Ten_On_The_End

    Ten_On_The_End High-Roller

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    One thing I've tried lately is adding the dried spices to the oil when you saute the crushed garlic being careful not to brown. Seems to "wake them up". Only done it with pizza sauce so far though.
     
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  8. joespoolhall

    joespoolhall High-Roller

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    Not a huge fan of red sauce, maybe a Fra Diavlo. When I do make it I avoid sausage (even though I love it) because of sodium. To try and cover that base, I toss in a fair amount of ground fennel with the ground beef along with the usual suspects. It turns out decent. It's not Carbonara, but it's decent.
     
  9. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Look at this. Retired one day and already looking for recipes! :thumbsup:
     
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  10. hammie

    hammie VIP Whale

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    Here is a real italian Grandma making her Sunday gravy, take it away Regina! She makes me smile!

     
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  11. Golfer

    Golfer Low-Roller

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    I would suggest red sauce (gravy) doesn't really have a set recipe, only guidelines. Every batch is different. To me a lot of it is the tomatoes, which people have already mention. The sweetening process, which has nothing to do with the flavor being sweet. And the sausage. Fennel? Yes. Others? Not so much.

    The two keys for me is Graziano's sausage, and I model the sauce from what I learned to do in Calabria. Mama Rosa's is very close, and very good.

    Graziano's Grocery Store will ship, and I believe the Mama Rosa's I'm referring to might be very local. Graziano's distributes to restaurants, and only really ships to retail consumers if they are comfortable, which they are with me.
     
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    My mom has a ragu recipe that I make a lot. Only takes about an hour so it's not one of those grandma sauces. I modify her recipe a bit:

    Brown 1 lb ground beef (I sometimes do 1/2 beef, 1/2 sausage)
    Add minced garlic at end of cooking meat (I also add a pinch of red chili flakes, oregano/basil, and a few grinds of black pepper)
    Toss in 2 bay leaves and simmer until you can smell them.
    Add 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
    Add 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
    At this point I generously sprinkle garlic powder over the top and stir it in.

    Simmer for about an hour, stirring periodically, until the thickness you prefer. Remove bay leaves. Serve over pasta with garlic bread.

    It's my go to "I don't really feel like cooking" meal. It's yummy, easy, and I almost always have everything in the kitchen to make it.
     
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