Why the super-security? Well, because those documents are pretty valuable, not just monetarily, but also to our country's heritage. Nobody is getting near those documents (well, unless you're Nicolas Cage and you have a personal vendetta).
This is exactly how I feel about my spaghetti sauce recipe. It's a valuable piece of my family heritage, and I hardly ever give it out. Like, never.
Not that anyone's ever asked for it before. They probably haven't, which is most likely why I've never given it out, but it's nice to pretend that I'm one of those family-secret-recipe people.
I grew up watching my mom make spaghetti sauce. She'd start it in the morning and let it simmer away all day, and our entire house would smell like sauce. Yum. I learned a lot by watching my mom, but I've also tweaked the recipe some over the years. This is probably nothing like the sauce my mom used to make. It's better. (Sorry, Mom! I couldn't resist!)
Anyway, here today, I'm giving you the recipe to one of my family's all-time favorite meals: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. I honestly think it's not that much harder than opening a jar, so you might as well take the time to make it homemade. Plus, it tastes exponentially better than that jarred stuff. With a little bit of effort, you can have a meal that your family will love too.
So here we go. Homemade spaghetti sauce.
Start with about a pound and a half of ground beef, one large (or two smallish) onion, and a good bit of minced garlic.
Brown that all together, then drain off the fat. (No picture of draining fat because . . . well . . . eeew.)
After you've drained the fat off, return the meat to the heat, but move it away to the side. (This part is the trickiest part of the whole thing. Just pay attention.) In the area in the middle of the pan, put the contents of one small can of tomato paste.
Move it around just a little until it coats the bottom of the pan. This will start to happen as the tomato paste gets warm.
Once you have some "bits" on the bottom of the pan, add a second can of tomato paste and mix everything together with the meat and onions and garlic.
Next, add a big splash of red wine (about a half cup), scraping the "bits" from the bottom of the pan.
Mix that together until nice and thick.
Now add your tomatoes: 1 large can (28 oz) of diced tomatoes, 1 large can of crushed tomatoes, and 2 large cans (15 oz) of tomato sauce. Bring that to a nice, bubbly boil.
Now it's time for some spices. A couple of large handfuls of dried basil (use fresh if you have it), one large handful of oregano, and some salt.
Now just turn down the heat a little, put a lid on it, and let it simmer for a while. The longer it simmers, the better it is. Plus, it's a little free "Spaghetti Sauce" scented air freshener for your house!
Serve over noodles and enjoy!
Here's the great thing about the recipe I just gave you: it makes a lot. As in, you can serve this to your family for dinner, then have some leftovers, and still have enough sauce to make a lasagne for next week (it's also great for mostaccioli). Or do what I do and put the remaining sauce into a couple of Ziplok bags and throw them in the freezer. Instant dinner on one of "those" nights.
Shelly's Spaghetti Sauce
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 large (or 2 small) onions
1-2 cloves minced garlic (depending on how much you like)
2 (8 oz) cans tomato paste
1/2 Cup red wine
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes
2 (15 oz) cans tomato sauce
2 Tablespoons dried basil
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
Salt to taste
1. Brown ground beef with onions and garlic; drain.
2. Push meat to the sides of the pan. Add 1 can tomato paste and allow to "adhere" to the bottom of the pan over medium-high heat--this will take a couple of minutes. Add second can of tomato paste and mix with meat.
3. Add red wine, scraping the bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add rest of tomatoes and spices; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and let simmer at least one hour, preferably two or three. Serve over spaghetti noodles.