Monday, July 27, 2009

You say tomato; I say tomato; no one says tomahto.

While Zach and I do not really have differing opinions on the pronunciation of the word, "tomato", we do have to participate in a little compromising when it comes to making the perfect tomato sauce. Our song would sound more like:
I say meat balls; you say meat sauce. I say yellow peppers; you say green peppers. I say sugar; you say why not. I say green olives? You say no. I say add red wine; you say that's weird.
I guess I will never be much of a songwriter, but all this back-and-forth does amount to something when it all comes together over some whole wheat thin spaghetti with a side salad drizzled with a homemade balsamic dressing .

The tomato sauce should always come together better when you have a partner with which to discuss the addition of each ingredient since experimenting is key in finding the right mix to work for you. Three words I like to use to describe the perfect sauce are: fresh, chunky, and comforting. This sauce has developed out of a recipe that started with Zach (possibly, the origins go further back?) It was the centerpiece of the first meal he ever made for me when we first started dating. It can be made in bulk, depending on how big your slow cooker is. You can save leftovers in freezer bags, and it almost tastes better after freezing and reheating! It can be made with meatballs or as a meat sauce (by just mixing in cooked ground beef). It can be used as a spaghetti sauce or as anything you would use a tomato sauce for like baked ziti and lasagna.

Zach's I Say Tomato Sauce:

1 6oz can tomato paste
2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
2 large fresh tomatoes, chopped (leave the chunks about bite-size, not too small)
1 large white onion, chopped
1/3 of a green bell pepper, chopped
2 tbsp minced garlic
1/2 C chopped mushrooms
1/3 C dry red wine
1 tsp brown sugar
1 lb cooked ground beef (optional)
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 bay leaf

Just chop it all up and dump it all in a slow cooker.
Mix it all together.
Cook on a low setting for 6-8 hours or on a high setting for 3-4 hours.

Be sure to serve your spaghetti with a nice salad:

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