My mother is a recipe hoarder. Me? I definitely got it from her… I also hoard recipes, cookbooks, etc. etc. These days my cooking/baking list grows even longer since I’ve added her recipes to mine!
There is one recipe, however, that is NOT written anywhere.
A long time ago (when I was just past my teenage years, in fact), I went through a stage where I abhorred meat sauce for pasta. I was lamenting about it that particular day when she said (paraphrasing here) “what’s your problem? it is so easy to make simple spaghetti sauce!”
She then goes on and dictates “the recipe” (again, paraphrasing here)-
Sauté 4 cloves garlic (smashed) and 1 small onion (minced). Add a pinch of chili flakes, then pour a (big) can of stewed whole tomatoes in the pot. Add a fistful of Italian seasoning and season to taste (large pinches of sugar, salt and pepper). Lightly crush the tomatoes. Simmer 15 to 25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Use the time to cook the pasta, 1 medium pack (which later I found out to be 500grams spaghetti, more or less). In the last few minutes of simmering the sauce, throw a fistful of grated parmesan in the pot. Mix. Done.
Then she continues to say that it is easy to vary and add flavor – add whatever it is before the tomatoes…
for meat sauce, stir fry ground meat (anywhere from 250 grams to 500 grams), add the tomatoes when the meat is browned
for veggie sauce, add diced peppers or pimientos, sliced mushrooms, diced zucchini, carrots, asparagus, eggplant, etc. (if you want the veggies to stay crunchy, add in the last 10 minutes of simmering)
for seafood, add 1 small of anchovies and seafood as desired (just don’t over-do it!)
Later on, someone told me that this was basic marinara sauce.
I’ve used this formula for years! And hubby loves it! Any which way I make it! And I’ve made it with shrimps, meat, veggies, clams, mussels, crab, even with canned sardines!!!
But my absolute favorite is this mixed seafood!