Extraordinary and Extra Meaty (Recipe: Extra Meaty Spaghetti Sauce)
My husband, Sam, has never seemed especially interested in cooking. Oh, he likes cooking and the eating that follows. He’s just never seemed particularly interested in being the one who produces the cooking that subsequently gets eaten. He’s just fine with the role of being the subsequent eater. Until one day, he was visiting his friend, Bob, who was making spaghetti sauce.
Spaghetti was nothing new to Sam but one of the ingredients Bob used in his spaghetti sauce contained pixie dust that spattered all over all my husband and mesmerized him. The magical ingredient wasn’t new to Sam, either. He had eaten it many, many times. He ate it every chance he got….and them some. It was one of his favorites. The application of the said ingredient is what caught the attention and adoration of my husband on that now famous day that Sam became the spaghetti sauce maker in our family.
Pepperoni. That’s what did it. Sam thought pepperoni was made for pizza and only pizza. Bob’s addition of pepperoni to his spaghetti sauce dazzled my husband in a way that had never before, or since, happened. I’ve been known to cook one or two meals. Sam has been known to eat one or two of my meals yet he has never queried the ingredients or cooking method of anything I’ve ever cooked for him. Not one single thing.
I asked him to ‘splain about that. He gave me some blah-blah about he has no business messing around much in MY kitchen and his cooking can never be as good mine.
Just in case you’re wondering, anyone is more than welcome to cook as many meals as you would like in MY kitchen. I will gladly take my place as the prep chef and dishwasher and let you cook till your heart’s content. I will go on and on and on about how wonderful your dish is and truly mean it. I will shout, “Hallelujah” to the hills and tell everyone I know about the wonderful creation you made. I will take photos and send them around the world extolling the virtues of your cooking.
It’s time I get back to this recipe. This extra meaty, extra tasty spaghetti. Bob had no idea he was creating a cooking sensation.
Y’all come see us!
yield: bunches and bunches
This bold and rich spaghetti sauce will stick to your ribs. It’s best made a day ahead of when it’s to be eaten. This recipe makes a large quantity but it freezes well. Sam likes to cut the Italian sausage into little meatballs. As an option, the sausage meat may be removed from the casing and browned with the ground beef. After you empty the tomato sauce out of the cans, save the cans to measure water. Don’t add salt until the sauce has cooked for a little bit. Taste and adjust as necessary. Several of the ingredients have rather high sodium content.
2 tablespoons olive oil
5 celery stalks, diced
3 medium onions, peeled and diced
1 large green bell pepper, seeded, membranes removed and diced
1 medium head of garlic, cloves separated peeled and diced
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 1/2 pounds mild Italian sausage links
8 ounces sliced pepperoni
2 (12 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (14 ounce) cans diced tomatoes
5 to 6 bay leaves
2 tablespoons dried Italian spices
1 tablespoon dried oregano
salt and pepper to taste
6 (12 ounce) cans of water
Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add next three ingredients and sauté until soft. Add garlic for last two minutes of sauté. Pour all ingredients into a large stockpot.
Add ground beef to the skillet and cook until pink is gone. Add additional oil if necessary. Pour into stockpot.
Cut Italian sausage into 1 1/2 inch meatballs. Add additional oil if necessary and cook sausage until lightly browned on all sides. Add to stockpot.
Place pepperoni in stockpot.
Add remaining ingredients, except salt and pepper, to stockpot. Stir well. Cover and cook over medium/low heat for at least two hours. Stir occasionally and add water if necessary.
Taste for salt and pepper and adjust.
Serve over pasta.