A perennial favorite Sunday family dinner was spaghetti with "Lito" (short for "abuelito", "grandfather") Schnaub's meat sauce. He ran the ingredients through a blender and cooked it all day, which gave it a delicious consistency. Even when we were having something different for dinner, the grandkids almost always insisted on spaghetti instead.
When my wife divorced me, one thing I made sure to get was the recipe for the sauce. In my first attempt, it turned out chunky because I didn't have a blender and a bit too thin because I wasn't sure of the required setting on my electric stove (he always cooked with gas and had even run a gas line into the kitchen of his all-electric home; well, all-electric except for the water heater). That night I took some to a friend's house for dinner and, even though I'd never known her to be able to finish one serving of anything, even she went back for seconds.
Cooking time: Many hours
Servings: About 20
1 pound ground beef 2 large onions, chopped 1 29 oz. can of tomato sauce 8 garlic cloves, minced 2 14-1/2 oz. cans of stewed tomatoes 3 tbs. olive oil 2 6 oz. cans of tomato paste 4 heaping tbs. Parmesan cheese 3/4 cup red wine 3-1/2 heaping tbs. Italian seasonings 3-1/2 heaping tbs. anise 2 bay leaves salt and pepper to taste water
Procedure:I ended up cooking it for about six hours, but it might have taken a bit less time if I had had the temperature up where it should have been. Still, the point is that this is going to take the better part of the day, so you'd better get it started in the morning. Then after the first time, you can gauge for yourself how long it'll take.
- Use a 5-1/2 quart pot.
- In the olive oil, fry the ground beef with the onions until the onions are transparent.
- Add the garlic and fry the mixture for another two minutes.
- Drain the excess fat.
- (Optional step) Blend everything (including the stewed tomatoes). This gives the sauce its smooth consistency. But chunky also tastes very good.
- Return to the pot and add the rest of the ingredients.
- Fill the pot almost to the brim with water, leaving room for expansion.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then set the flame to "low" -- on an electric stove this should be around 3.
- Let the sauce cook for however many hours it takes for it to reach the desired consistency. Stir occasionally to keep it from burning.
- When it's done cooking, be sure to remove the bay leaves.
Even if you're living alone (tell me about it!), cook up a batch of sauce, divide it up into storage containers, and put most of them in the freezer. It'll keep your pasta dinners covered for a long time and, besides, this sauce tastes far better than the store-bought jars do.
Share and enjoy!
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First uploaded on 2006 April 22.
Last updated on 2011 July 08.