Monday, April 2, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce 5 ways




Yesterday morning I woke up thinking, "Oh, what a wonderfully normal day it is today! I'm sure it will be filled with honesty and truthfulness."

Oh how wrong I was.


It started out when I came downstairs to get breakfast, and Boots asked me to get him a drink.

"Get it yourself, you invalid."

"Yammieeeee. Please. I can't reach."

"Here's a cup, you pygmy. Now get your own water and let me wake up in peace."

He finally realized that it was a lost cause and threw the empty cup at my head and grumbled away into the living room.


I sat down at the table and began crunching down my toast just as Nemo walked in and decided to get herself a drink. As soon as she turned on the faucet, I was unpleasantly surprised by a torrent of water in the face. I looked from the rubber band around the sink spray head to my soggy toast.

Oh yeah. April Fool's Day. My worst favorite holiday of the whole year. 



Luckily nobody did anything too evil this year. Cookie had one of my favorites...

"Hey, you have a waffle on your head. APRIL FOOL'S."

Creative.

But Bellie got her back. She went and found Cookie's old cast from when she broke her leg last year (um... why do we still have that?) and calmly said, "Cookie, the doctor said you have to put this back on now."

She was pretty freaked out.

Then I made Boots a french toast and Nemo said, "Wait, did you give him the one with the dead ants in it?"

"Oh yeah! Boots, did you actually eat that?"

His reaction was gold. His eyebrows furrowed menacingly, his breathing came hard through his flared nostrils, and he slowly lifted up his plate, clearly intending to splatter the syrupy remains across the room.

"WAAAIT. APRIL FOOLS."

Anyways, here's something real.



This is a basic and very versatile recipe for spaghetti sauce. It's soooo much better than the jarred stuff. Seriously, you will never buy it again. Adding all the herbs gives it a lot of flavor and the carrots give it some sweetness. Plus, they are just so many ways to have it. Leave it chunky or puree it with an immersion blender. Add meat or keep it vegetarian. Bake it on parmesan crusted chicken or toss it with some noodles drenched in browned butter. Add some mushrooms or a little cream. You're only as limited as your imagination.


Basic Spaghetti Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 carrots, peeled and chopped up small
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 of a white onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
5 tablespoons tomato paste
28 oz. canned, chopped tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon rosemary,
1 teaspoon sage
2 teaspoon parsely
1 teaspoon thyme
1 teaspoon oregano
2 bay leaves
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

Heat up the oil over medium high heat in a pot. Add the carrots, onion, red pepper, and garlic. Cook for about 10 minutes or until tender. Add all of the remaining ingredients and mix it up well. If it tastes too acidic, add a tablespoon of brown sugar at a time. If it tastes two sweet, add a half tablespoon of apple cider vinegar at a time. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour. Serve as is over pasta as a chunky sauce.

For smooth spaghetti sauce: puree with an immersion blender or in batches in a regular blender until smooth.

For Bolognese sauce: Season a couple pounds of ground beef generously with salt, pepper, basil, rosemary, sage, parsely, thyme, oregano, and smoked paprika. Cook in a skillet until browned and drain. Puree spaghetti sauce and toss the beef in it. Serve over pasta.

For creamy spaghetti sauce: Puree the sauce and add about 1/4 cup of cream (or as much as you want, just pour it in slowly) and mix it up.

For mushroom spaghetti sauce: Add in about a cup of fresh mushrooms at the beginning with the carrots and onions. Can be served smooth or chunky.

You get the picture. Just be creative.
 

Now I'm going to get off the computer and do some real life stuff and not get on Pinterest at all.

...april fools.