The internet is an amazing place. Full of (recipe) fact and fiction. Particularly when it comes to homemade Spaghetti Sauce Recipes. Many of which claim they are “the recipe to die for”
In Italy, because a homemade spaghetti sauce is so regional there is no such thing as a right or wrong. BTW, there are 20 regions in Italy. Homemade spaghetti sauce is a/k/a “gravy” and “ragù” (with meat). Each region often adds its own twist to a recipe. There are so many American versions of a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. And many are so far afield they don’t approximate ANY regional recipe. They are purely American recipe inventions. And they lack the heart and soul of any of the authentic homemade spaghetti sauce versions.
Here are two of the stupidest homemade spaghetti sauce recipes I’ve seen. As opposed to dying for these, you might want to kill instead.
One is a YouTube video. In this video the “chef” mixes up a recipe with umpteen different spices and herbs. And also adds ground turkey. He calls it a meat sauce recipe. This chef would be hung by dawn if he tried this on anyone in Italy.
The other recipe is from a web site that is the first Google search result when you type in “spaghetti sauce recipe”. In their purportedly “authentic” homemade recipe these incompetents direct you to add everything but the kitchen sink. That includes Worcestershire sauce and vinegar. Sounds like a ketchup recipe to me.
I’m not sure if either recipe wins the award. For what? For stupidest homemade spaghetti sauce recipe. But it’s a close race. Here’s as simple, inexpensive, and easy as a homemade spaghetti sauce recipe gets.
Homemade Spaghetti Ragù (with meat) Recipe – serves 8 (approx. $1.00 per serving)
- 1 lb. ground beef.
- 1 lb. ground pork.
- 4 Medium White Onions chopped fine.
- 3 28 oz. cans crushed tomatoes. Preferably packed without citric acid.
- Olive Oil – six tablespoons.
- Sugar – two tablespoons.
- Sea Salt – one tablespoon.
- Black Pepper – two teaspoons.
- 1 1/2 lb. Spaghetti or Macaroni.
Brown the onions in the six tablespoons of olive oil until dark brown. Add the ground beef and pork. Sauté until it loses it red color. That takes several minutes. Add the tomatoes, sweetener, salt, black pepper. Stir. Bring to a boil. Then lower the heat to a medium simmer. Then cook this homemade spaghetti sauce for approximately 30 minutes. Stir regularly.
When the ragù is finished, cook the spaghetti or macaroni until extra firm or al dente. Be sure to use salted water. This means far less time (see our Pasta-101) than the cooking instructions on the box call for.
Drain the spaghetti. Add two large ladles of the ragù sauce to the same pasta pan over a low heat. Then return the drained spaghetti to the pan and toss. Much like you would a large salad. Make sure all the spaghetti is covered in the homemade spaghetti sauce. Add more as needed. But not so much the spaghetti is swimming or dripping in it. Serve spaghetti with several additional spoonfuls of the homemade spaghetti sauce on top of each dish. And add a heavy dusting of either Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
NO dried herbs, particularly oregano. That’s for a pizza sauce recipe only. Trust me. And NEVER, EVER, mix onion and garlic in the same recipe. Either ONE or the OTHER, but not both in the same recipe. Period. It’s simple things like this that make American tourists swoon about the food in Italy.
Hope you enjoy this Homemade Spaghetti Sauce recipe!
Written by Dino Romano, former Pasta Channel writer, Italian cook extraordinaire, entrepreneur and raconteur. Has taken Kyle Phillips (former principle/writer for About.com Guide to Italian Food) to task on several supposed “authentic” Italian recipes.