Great Spaghetti Sauce Making Tips
There are a lot of great spaghetti sauces and there are as many good tips for making the best sauce a person can make at home. Some of the suggestions are difficult and others aren’t, however they are all worth consideration if a person wants to make the best homemade spaghetti sauce that they can. The result is often a sauce that is far superior to anything that can be purchased in a can or glass jar.
One of the biggest keys that many of the top recipes share is that the sauce is slow cooked. This means that there is more time expendature and a little more effort involved. Still, if the goal is the best spaghetti sauce possible, it is worth the extra time and effort. Expecting the sauce to be done in an hour usually doesn’t lead to the finest results. Using homemade salsa as a base for the spaghetti sauce can save in preparation time, however it should also be considered that there is initial time and effort involved in making the salsa and the sauce should still be slow cooked so the flavors have a chance to come out and to blend.
The flavor onions impart to spaghetti sauce is phenomenal. Many of the best cooks wouldn’t consider making this sauce without using onions. It should be remembered, though, that each kind of onion and member of the onion family gives a slightly different flavor to the finished sauce. Fantastic sauces can be made by combining red, yellow, white and purple onions, as well as freshly chopped garlic, chives and leek. Since the sauce is slow cooked, these don’t need to be sauteed unless it is desired, but the finer they are chopped, the more the flavor can permeate the entire mixture.
Tantalize the taste buds
An expert at making spaghetti sauce, a woman named Freda Mae was once asked her best secret to the sauce. She said, “Something sour, something sweet, something bitter, something bland.” The statement is an old one, but it holds huge merit. We have areas on our tongues that respond to these flavors. Because of this, Freda used lemon juice for sourness, sugar or honey for sweetness, the onions (caramelized) for the bitterness, and the rest of the ingredients for the blandness. It seemed to work as she would make a huge pot of spaghetti for potluck dinners for a community of 20 families, and it was the first that was empty, almost every time. Getting all the taste buds working together is a great secret to fabulous sauce.
Spaghetti sauce can be made without meat, and this appeals to many vegetarians. For other people, the sauce just isn’t complete without meat and lots of it. The key here, though, is that the more kinds of meat that are used, the better the sauce usually is. The meat can be ground or diced in small pieces, however beef, pork, venison, elk, bear, chicken and turkey all lend special flavor to the sauce. If a person limits themselves to only one kind of meat, they are missing out on a huge amount of flavor.
As strange as it may sound to many people, adding some full-bodied wine to the spaghetti sauce is terrific for bringing out the flavor of all the other ingredients. It seems to be better if the wine is homemade, but any good wine will do, especially sweet wines. This should be added early in the cooking sequence.
There are a huge number of herbs and seasonings that go extremely well when cooked in spaghetti sauce. These include oregano, thyme, sage, cumin, basil, marjoram, mint, parsley, anise and lavender. The fresh herbs are preferable to their dried counterparts, and it should be noted that basil and marjoram should be added toward the end of cooking. Heat can destroy their good flavor.
For the very best spaghetti sauce, the pot should be periodically stirred, but it should also be covered to keep the flavors in. Each time an addition is made to the pot, it should also be stirred and the cover should be put back on.
Aside from the members of the onion family, many people add vegetables like bell peppers, jalapenos, corn, carrots and mushrooms. Mushrooms aren’t a vegetable, however they are still mentioned here. Some people dislike some of these. For instance, jalapenos can make the meal hot or spicy. Corn does little but add starch, though it helps with the sweetness. Carrots take on the flavor of the other ingredients, so they act as a simple filler without contributing much to flavor. Some people don’t like any kind of mushroom. This means that the additional vegetables are up to the individual tastes of those who will be eating the fare. Fantastic sauce can also result by using veggies and fruits not commonly encountered. For instance, many good cooks swear by using morel mushrooms instead of the more common white mushrooms.
As an example, the aforementioned Freda wouldn’t have considered adding either jalapenos or carrots, but she loved adding an enormous amount of fresh morel mushrooms, when they were in season. Sometimes she also added ripe pineapple or actual fresh tomatoes, too, though pineapple wasn’t grown locally and she’d only use fresh tomatoes if they were in season and out of her garden. Still, she canned so many quarts of produce that it hardly mattered, especially when it came to her exquisite spaghetti sauce.
These tips are designed to make the spaghetti sauce the best it can be. Other cooks have their own preferences. The cooks can make the great meals, but it is ultimately up to the people who consume those meals, to decide what is truly best.