This summer I canned tomato sauce. Plain-O Jane-O sauce. I did it 'cause I wanted to be able to flavor and spice it up however I wanted it right then. Not want it one way and only have it canned another.
This evening I'm making spaghetti and meatballs. The meatballs are from an el'cheapo sale back in the spring (as is the garlic bread that we'll have), and the spaghetti sauce is from my tomato sauce! The texture is perfect. Not too thick, not too runny. I must remember to plant more and can more next year... if Junior doesn't take too much of my time. I have a feeling that my sauce will be long-gone before winter's over.
Here's how I make spaghetti sauce:
Heat some Olive Oil in a pan till it's hot.
Add in a diced onion and some crushed garlic (oh, about 2 med. cloves worth).
Let the onions and garlic saute a bit; breath deeply to inhale the luscious fragrance!
Sprinkle in some Oregano and Basil (dried, unless you have fresh) until it looks "right"; let it toast a bit, and continue to soak up the deliciousness!!
Remember that the original recipe calls for Italian Style tomatoes, so shoogie in a good Tbsp. or so of Italian Seasoning.
Add a bit more Olive Oil if you want.
*insert wiggly eyebrows* Pour in about 1/2 cup red wine (NOT Port. Port wine is waaay too sweet for this kind of stuff. It ruins it. Trust me, I know.). Stir it around and let it cook till it's mostly absorbed (and the alcohol cooks off, promise!).
Add about 1 1/2 tsp. salt and several grinds of pepper.
Pour in 1 quart of tomato sauce.
Let it simmer for a bit and then do a taste-test to see if you need to add more of something :) I always let it cook a bit after adding something before I taste-test, that way the flavor has a chance to "bloom" and really get into the sauce. It provides a truer (more true?) representation of the full results.
Once you get the sauce pretty much perfected, you can add your meatballs. Or, if you're starting out with the raw deal, you would put it in after toasting the onions, garlic and spices and let it brown most of the way.
Let is slow-cook over low heat until your honey comes home, then dish him up a nice plate o' Spaghetti :) You might even have a drippy candle on the table ;)
And for some lessons on how to really dice and mince onions and garlics*, check out Pioneer Woman. Saves me a ton of time!!
*Link is to one of her recipes that includes both, she doesn't have a tutorial for garlics)