Perfect sauce is simple, smooth, balanced on the palate. It hints of subtle under notes from other stewed ingredients. Its more like a fine wine than a kitchen sink container. In fact, my relatives in Italy would probably admonish me for my sauce below as being too fussy, too North American, and too complicated. Yes, it must be that simple. It must have the best tomatoes you can find. This time, try simplicity. Its beautiful. Please- I must now live vicariously through your tomato experience. The least you can do for me is make sure its a good experience :)
Red Wine Spaghetti Sauce
- 2 cans of crushed tomatoes or 2 jars of Passato. If you are lucky enough to find them, get some canned “San Marzano” tomatoes.
- 2 chicken or 4 vegetable bouillon cubes (If, like me, you can’t have MSG, make your own cubes as I do- get broth and boil itdown till it is thick. Pour in ice cube trays, and freeze).
- 1 spoonful of honey or agave nectar (or sugar if you can have it)
- generous pinch of salt (or to taste)
- 2 cups of red wine
- raw meatballs (omit if meatless)
- Pour the tomatoes and bouillon cubes and 1 cup of the red wine into a pot. You might want to add the equivalent of an empty tomato jar of water, since with all the simmering alot of water from the sauce will evaporate.
- Bring to a boil. If you have raw meatballs, add them now. They will poach and cook perfectly in the sauce and add a phenomenal flavour. Either that, or use a few pieces of stewing beef if you wish. You don’t have to though – the bouillon cubes help alot.
- Boil for at least 10 min, and then reduce to simmer for about an hour. If you have meat, it must be cooked through- open up a meatball to check.
- Bring the sauce up to a boil again, add the last cup of red wine. Reduce to simmer for about 5 min or so. The wine you add at the end is what you will taste most- feel free to add more if you will be simmering the sauce for longer. I’ve been known to add at least a half a bottle. :)
- Add the spoonful of honey or sugar or agave nectar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Done.