Saturday, December 10, 2011

red wine spaghetti meat sauce

I'm so not a fan of sweet, Filipino style spaghetti (the kind with hotdogs, sugar and cheddar cheese - blech!  >_< ).  I like it tangy and rich and thick - not the usual children's party fare.

Just last weekend I made a batch of red wine meat sauce for a family Christmas party, and I was so gladdened when others said they liked it.  The special, flavor-enhancing ingredient is the red wine.  Here's how I made it:


Ingredients
Photo not mine
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 to 5 large plum tomatoes
  • basil leaves (preferably fresh and finely chopped, but dried and pulverized works too)
  • two 200g packs of tomato sauce
  • half a kilo of ground beef
  • 1 cup of red wine

Optional
  • a can of sliced mushrooms 
  • sliced black olives
  • beef cubes or beef stock for flavor
  • oregano 
  • rosemary
  • pepper, to taste

Procedure
  • Sautee the onions ang garlic.  I prefer to do the onions first because they take longer.  Once the onions turn transparent, fry the ground beef.  Set aside.
  • Boil the tomatoes until soft.  Remove from heat and mash them with a fork.
  • Over heat, combine the cooked ground beef-and-onions, smashed tomatoes and tomato sauce.  This would be the time to add your beef cubes.  If you want mushrooms and olives in your sauce, you can add them at this point.  Stir constantly to avoid burning the beef.
  • Sprinkle the basil (and if you wish, oregano and rosemary) and pour in the red wine.  Lower the heat, cover and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve over spaghetti noodles and top with more basil and Parmesan cheese. 
    Makes 4-6 servings

Variations
  • Meat-lover
    Throw in some meatballs.
  • Heart-healthy
    Instead of ground beef, use tuna flakes.  Use no oil, just water.  Mix in one cup of oatmeal into the tomato sauce. Don't add any beef cubes or flavorings.
    * Oatmeal and garlic help to lower cholesterol, red wine has antioxidants, tuna has omega-3 and tomato sauce has lycopene - all heart-friendly.
  • No Parmesan cheese? 
    Don't use cheddar!
      (I beseech thee! Please!) Instead, use Edam - that's the kind of cheese in Queso de Bola (marami tayo niyan 'pag Disyembre!). Local cheddar is too sweet, and i.m.h.o. ruins the flavor.
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