Rae Bates photo

A Year of Columns

For a year now I’ve been sharing random thoughts with you. I’ve shared recipes. I’ve shared some of my expertise. I hope you’ve learned something and been entertained. I’ve enjoyed every minute.

Thank you for coming on this journey with me. I hope you’ll stick with me for the next year, as well.

I’d love to hear from you. Is there a topic you’d like for me to cover? Is there a cuisine you’d like me to explore? Just let me know.

In the meantime, I thought I’d share my family’s favorite spaghetti sauce recipe. It’s undergone some changes through the years. I first got it from a family I attended church with as a teen. If I recall properly (that was a lot of years ago), the family had Sicilian roots, and this was a family recipe. Over the years I first adjusted it to add a bit more heat. More recently I’ve removed a little of the heat and made it a bit sweeter. To be honest, I don’t really use a recipe anymore unless I’m making it for company.

A few years ago I started using San Marzano tomatoes. They come from a particular region of Italy, and the taste is amazing. I’ve had to go outside our community to get them, but I think it’s worth it. The only brand I’ve found locally is Cento, and I don’t think it has the same flavor as the others I’ve tried; it tastes more like standard canned tomatoes. So it will work, but it won’t taste quite as good, in my opinion.

This is a thick, hearty sauce, so you’ll want to serve it over regular spaghetti or another sturdy pasta. It will overwhelm thin spaghetti.

May your week ahead be filled with sunshine.

Rae’s Sweet & Spicy Spaghetti SauceRae of Sunshine logo

1 lb hot Italian sausage*
1 clove garlic, pressed
2 T olive oil
3 t salt, divided
1 can, 29 oz, crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 can, 8 oz, San Marzano tomato sauce
3 cans, 8 oz each, tomato paste
3 tomato paste cans of water
2½ T sugar
1 t garlic powder
2 t black pepper
2 T oregano
2 T basil
1 T parsley
1 t cayenne pepper

In a large, heavy skillet brown sausage, garlic, olive oil, and 1 t salt. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer for at least 2 hours.

*If you use mild or sweet Italian sausage, add ¾ t cayenne pepper to sausage as you’re browning it.

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Rea Bates is an independent Consultant with the Pampered Chef. You can see her Facebook Page by clicking HERE. Her column appears each Sunday in Peru Indiana Today.