If you like real Italian sauce, or gravy, as many of you call it, give this 30-minute sauce a try. You can simmer it longer, if you want to. Like most of my recipes, this one is customizable. If you need to add a little extra seasoning, feel free! What’s listed below is how my family likes it, so start there and give it a taste. Adjust it before serving.
INGREDIENTS: (This will make a triple batch. It’s no extra work, why not have some for the freezer?)
Drizzle of olive oil
About a 2” – 3” length of anchovy paste*
6 – 10 cloves chopped garlic
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
Mini sweet peppers, chopped (I use 2 or 3)
1 lb ground turkey, chicken or beef
¼ – ½ lb hot or mild Italian sausage
Three 28 oz cans crushed tomatoes
6 oz tomato paste
12 oz unsweetened applesauce**
¾ cup Romano, freshly grated
¾ cup Parmesan, freshly grated
1 ½ tsp parsley
1 tsp basil
½ – 1 tsp crushed red peppers
¾ tsp Italian seasoning
Drizzle a little olive oil in a heavy 8 qt saucepan. Add the tomato paste, anchovy paste, and garlic. Simmer over low heat for at least five minutes. Add the meat and turn the heat up to medium/low. Cook and stir until meat is browned and broken up into chunks. Add the tomatoes and applesauce and bring to a simmer. Turn the heat to low, and cock the cover.
About fifteen minutes later, add 1 ½ cups of freshly grated cheese. I do half Romano and half Parmesan. Cover again and continue to simmer for another fifteen minutes or so.
Add the seasonings five to ten minutes before serving.
*If you’re like me, you’re rolling your eyes and making faces. Grotesque sounds may be coming out of your mouth, and your tongue may be hanging out. I read somewhere that authentic sauce has anchovy paste. You will NOT taste fish. I tried it once and never made sauce without it again. OK, that isn’t exactly true. I forgot it one time, and couldn’t for the life of me, figure out what was wrong with the sauce. It didn’t taste right. The flavor just wasn’t as good. Then the little light bulb went on. I had forgotten the anchovy paste.
**Trust me, nobody will know it’s in there. It adds as another thickener and adds a touch of sweetness without adding sugar. Bob buys the 6 pack of 4 oz applesauce. I always have them on hand for when I get Italian fever.
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By Tika for CHEW WANNA EAT? © 2015