Monday, July 23, 2012

My Favorite Spaghetti Sauce

It's easy, fresh, and comes from Tony Soprano himself.  Well, kind of.  It's my absolute favorite go-to spaghetti sauce, and I make sure my pantry is always equipped with the necessary ingredients.  

We found this recipe in our early days of learning to cook, and it instantly became one of our favorites.  I truly believe everyone should have their signature spaghetti sauce, and we were lucky to have found ours so early in our relationship.  Now, years later, nothing says 'home' to me more than this sauce simmering on our stove top.  

The sauce comes from one of my favorite recipe books, The Sopranos Family Cookbook.  It has rave reviews on Amazon, and is jam-packed with signature Italian dishes, including two of my absolute favorites: penne ala vodka and fettuccine primavera.  My mom gave Beau and I this cookbook the first Christmas we started dating, right in the midst of watching all of the seasons of this amazing series.  I attribute my love of cooking to that season of life, to Carmela Soprano, and to the no-fail recipes found within this book.  

The sauce is quick, easy, and meatless, but can also be played with and spiced up if you are in the mood for something different.  Sometimes, we brown a pound of Italian sausage and throw it in before serving, and other times, we go with or without the mushrooms.  One of my favorite things about this sauce is the taste you have in your mouth after eating it.  It's richly packed with amazing flavor, from the garlic and tomatoes to the fresh basil.  It's always best when dessert involves a movie and cozy blanket on the couch afterwards.  Comfort food at its finest... 
Here's the break down...

-2-4 large garlic cloves, depending of how many vampires you plan to invite for dinner.  We always tend to be garlic-heavy.  Chop the cloves up really fine and set aside.  (You can also buy pre-minced garlic in jars in your produce aisle)
-1 cup mushrooms, baby bellas, chopped up to your liking
-1/4 cup olive oil
-28 oz. can of Italian chopped tomatoes (if you can't find Italian-style, just add extra Italian seasoning in the sauce)
-Salt and pepper
-8-10 fresh basil leaves, chopped (you can also use dried basil, but I highly recommend fresh)

1.  In a large skillet, cook the garlic and mushrooms in the olive oil over medium heat until golden, about 4-5 minutes.

2.  Add the tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.  Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until the sauce is thick, about 15-20 minutes.  Stir in the basil leaves during the last five minutes.

3.  Serve over hot cooked spaghetti and top with Parmesan

Bon Appetite!

What are your absolute favorite comfort foods?  What dishes have you perfected and made your go-to, never fail recipes of choice?  I'd love for you to share your faves!    

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