Monday, November 16, 2015

Spaghetti Sauce

I work with a man of Italian ancestry.  When we have potlucks at school he usually brings in ziti baked in a delicious pasta sauce.  His secret recipe, that ingredient that gives a slight sweetness to his sauce?  Grape jelly!

I'm not as poor as I may seem, having just written about my extravagant shopping excursion to Big Lots, but last week I was at Grocery Outlet.  I love it there, you never know what you're going to find!  When I was there last week I found ground lamb.  What could I use that for?  I didn't quite have an answer at the time, but I bought it anyway because I love the taste of lamb so much.

When I make spaghetti sauce, I fry up some meat (or heat up meatballs), put the meat in a bowl, and pour pasta sauce from a can or jar over it.  2 minutes in the microwave and I have a delicious spaghetti sauce.  No, it doesn't have that slight sweetness that grape jelly would add, but the meat and the sauce go so well together.  I did that tonight but with the ground lamb instead of ground beef.  It was exquisite!  You could taste just enough of the lamb, even in the sauce, to celebrate the flavor without its being either excessive or overwhelmed.

In other words: perfetto.


Anonymous said...

In large saucepan (I like non-stick), brown 1# ground lamb and set aside. In the same pan, saute a large onion and a fresh fennel bulb, finely chopped (may add carrot - adds sweetness - and/or red/orange bell pepper, ditto) until soft and translucent. Return lamb to pan, add 28-oz can Muir Glen Organic fire-roasted crushed tomatoes (rinse can with a bit of red wine or anise-flavored liqueur like Pernod), add seasonings (fresh-ground pepper, Italian herbs,dried smoked pepper - pimenton- ground fennel etc) and mix well. Simmer until vegetables are soft and sauce is desired consistency. Serve over pasta or polenta. Freezes well.

Alternate: Use only a 15-oz can of the same tomatoes and simmer until very thick. Makes a wonderful double-crust pie filling -any size - or turnover/calzone, using standard pastry. Make extras and freeze, unbaked. Thaw in refrigerator- at least partly- before baking until crust is browned and pie is hot throughout.

Anonymous said...

Should have added that the recipe may use finely-chopped leftover lamb (grilled is especially delicious) instead of fresh ground. I grill boneless leg from Sam's or Costco (unrolled and cut into 3 sections for ease of carving). Lamb stew meat also works - cut into smaller pieces, brown etc. Takes a little longer to simmer to proper consistency.

With the addition of small pasta (ditalini, orzo, rings) and chicken or lamb (boxed, Saffron Road brand) broth, it makes a great soup. May add uncooked pasta and broth directly or cook former in latter and add. Adjust thickness.

Anonymous said...

Shepherd's Pie.