Genève’s Kitchen

Genève’s Kitchen header image 2


May 8th, 2006 · 2 Comments

psghetti--final.jpgI’ve been calling spaghetti, “psghetti” ever since my little brother coined the term back when he was 3 (he’s now 20). This spaghetti sauce recipe is a reliable, comforting meal that most people make from a jar but the secret is that it’s so easy to make from scratch and infinitely better tasting. I actually make a version of spaghetti sauce that was inspired by my friend Heather’s parents. I was up at their beautiful house in Kennebunkport, ME one summer and her Dad made the most amazing meatballs while her Mom created a delicious tomato sauce to accompany them. I still salivate when I recall that meal!

My adaptation is a spaghetti bolognese sauce with cremini mushrooms (a.k.a. baby portabellas). I use equal parts sweet italian sausage and lean ground beef for the meat component of the sauce and add delicious cremini mushrooms. I then add fire roasted crushed tomatoes which give a great depth of flavor compared to regular crushed tomatoes – it’s my latest favorite food discovery.

This recipe makes a huge pot of sauce. I love that I end up with several extra meals that I can store in the freezer. An easy way to store this sauce is in zip-lock bags. I wait until the sauce cools a little bit and I fill several portions worth of the sauce into zip-lock freezer bags. I label them and stash them away for a quick and easy meal.

Spaghetti Bolognese

2/3 Lb. Sweet Italian Sausage (remove from casings if you buy them already in links)
2/3 Lb. Lean Ground Beef (93% lean)
2 28 oz. cans of crushed fire roasted tomatoes
2-3 handfuls of cremini mushrooms or 1 pint, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tbsp tomato paste
A few glugs of the red wine that you’ll be enjoying with dinner (optional)
2 pinches of red pepper flakes
2 pinches of dried oregano
sea salt/pepper to taste
extra virgin olive oil
fresh basil

1) In a large pot over medium heat add a few glugs of olive oil (about a few tablespoons if you require more precise measurements) – after a few moments add the chopped onion and garlic. When the onion begins to look translucent and shiny add the meat and mushrooms. Break apart the meat with a wooden spoon. Add the mushrooms. Cook until the meat no longer looks raw.

FYI: The italian sausage usually comes in individual casings so I either squeeze out the meat from the casing or you can cut open each casing to remove the meat before adding it to the pot.

2) Add the pinch of red pepper flakes, oregano, tomato paste and stir. Then add the crushed tomatoes and red wine. Add salt and pepper to taste – definitely err on the side of caution here – you can always add more salt but you can’t take it out…. It’s important to taste the sause to get the seasoning just right.

3) Once the sauce comes to a boil bring down the heat and let it slowly bubble away without a lid and the flavors will intensify. I usually let it simmer for at least 30 minutes before enjoying. You can let it go even longer though. In fact if you’re serving this for a party you can prepare it ahead of time and warm it up again right before you’re ready to eat.

4) Boil water for the pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add salt to the water right before you add the spaghetti. Cook pasta according to package directions – I usually start checking it after about 7 minutes to make sure I get perfectly al dente pasta. (Al dente means that it has a little “bite” to it – no soggy pasta here!)

5) Right before you’re ready to serve tear by hand or chop several handfulls of fresh basil and stir into the hot sauce.
Enjoy with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano!

Tags: Comfort Food · Entertaining · Entree

2 responses so far ↓

  • Ivonne // May 9, 2006 at 6:29 pm

    Well done, Geneve!

    The photo is beautiful and I agree with you completely. There’s nothing better than a delicious tomato sauce!

  • Sherri // May 10, 2006 at 6:30 am

    Food photography is getting better and better.
    I am sure I can adapt the yummy looking spaghetti and make it kosher sans sausage !