I have another recipe to share!
It’s not my intention to have a cooking blog, though sometimes I clasp my hands dramatically and lift my too-wide eyes to the heavens with the hearty wish that I had picked a damn theme for the blog. But I didn’t. So you get what you get! Today it is a recipe!
A few weeks ago I came home from work one evening to a wonderful smell filling the hallway in my apartment building. Apartments have their share of upsides and downsides, and smelling-what-everyone-else-is-cooking can honestly fall on either side. On the upside, Sunday brunch of bacon and eggs! A delicious cake! On the downside, organ meats. Smelling something delicious can be an upside and a downside simultaneously, as demonstrated by my inner monologue:
SMART HALF OF MY BRAIN: Boy, that Sunday brunch someone is making smells delicious!
DUMB HALF OF MY BRAIN: It sure does! Let’s make waffles!
SHOMB: No, no. We don’t have time, and we don’t need waffles.
DHOMB: Sure we do! They smell so good!
SHOMB: They do. They’re delicious, but we totally do not need the carbs and piles of sugar.
DHOMB: Those won’t be a problem.
SHOMB: Of course they will.
DHOMB: Nope. Got a thing going. With the pancreas. We’re cool.
MY PANCREAS: What?
DHOMB: Our deal! If we eat waffles, remember? Mmm, slathered in maple syrup.
SHOMB: Great. You made our pancreas faint dead away. Also, do I need to remind you that we just ate a delicious breakfast?
DHOMB: It was okay.
SHOMB: It was more than okay. It was great. It was the finest breakfast ever concocted by humankind. The mere thought of that breakfast should keep other food-thoughts away for days.
DHOMB: Don’t forget to add maple syrup to the shopping list.
SHOMB: Got it.
But sometimes I come home and smell something delicious being cooked by a neighbor, and it reminds me there are delicious things that I can cook, too! For myself! That won’t cause various body parts to revolt!
The other week it was spaghetti sauce. One of three recipes passed down to me by my father, a man of many fine qualities but usually no skill or patience or grace in the kitchen whatsoever. I don’t know what about these few dishes distinguished them to the point where my father would not just consent to making them but enjoy making them, but I’m grateful for it.
But enough chitchat. You guys want spaghetti sauce! Let me say right up front that we are not Italian. As far as I know we have zero Italian heritage whatsoever. And I don’t think this sauce is genuine…anything, really. Other than delicious! This is not a recipe that my father ever wrote down. (Like most of his, it probably came from the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook originally, but changed over time.) When I moved out, I told him I wanted to learn how to make it, so he had me watch/help him make it. It’s dead easy. Here it is!
Note One: I have actually changed it a lot since Dad taught it to me, but the basic idea is the same.
Note Two: The last recipe I posted also had a vegan version. This SO doesn’t.
1 lb ground turkey
turkey pepperoni (to taste, I use a little more than what they call “a serving” on the package)
2 tbs olive oil
Garlic (minced, diced, powdered, smashed, I don’t care, just get lots of it!)
1 32 oz can tomato sauce (is it 32 oz? The big can. You know.)
1 6 oz can tomato paste (The little can)
Cut up your onion and get a big ol’ stewpot or saucepan heating up over mediumish heat. Dump the olive oil in there (all amounts are guesses on my part except the one-pound-of-meat thing) (and canned stuff) (obviously). Soon as they’re chopped, throw in the onions. Then grab your trusty Worcestershire sauce (I use Lea & Perrins because I am an enormous snob) (Also I bought it like six years ago) and dump some on in there. I have no idea how much. A goodly amount – several tablespoons’ worth. It will start smelling awesome almost immediately. Add the ground turkey and let the whole thing brown nicely. While that’s browning, cut up the turkey pepperoni. I just pile up the pre-sliced pieces and cut them into small strips. Dump those into the pot. Also dump in a bunch of garlic. I tend to have jars of minced garlic and powdered garlic, so I use both of those. Once everything is happily browned and the ground meat shows no more pink, open your cans of tomato substances and dump ‘em on in. Stir the whole mess real good and lower the heat about as low as you can. Once it’s stirred together, taste a tiny bit. Figure out how much more garlic you need (duh of course you need more garlic) and also salt, if any. Usually I do add a little bit. It’s rare for me to add salt to anything but even just a little bit helps kick this up to the right degree of tanginess. If you’re not sure, just don’t add it. It can be added later after all. Anyway, then leave it on low and walk away for a few hours. Don’t actually walk far, I mean, this is a stove. Stir it every so often, especially if you have a gas stove like me and tend to have a little concentrated ring of heat where stuff sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Anyway, when it’s done, which is two hours/until you can’t stand it anymore, turn off the heat and stir. Dump over whatever type of pasta floats your boat. It has so much meat in the sauce you don’t really need an alternate protein source. If you want a yummy one-bowl meal, steam up a little broccoli and dump it in with the pasta and sauce.
This recipe makes a whack-ton of sauce but it freezes really well. Put some up in the freezer for later chowing down!