Jack Thompson

People / Process / Trust

Pasta: Red Sauce

Always fun when I knock something together out of muscle memory and compare it to the recipe I have written down after the fact - I made red sauce and basically closed my eyes and dinner happened - and I realized this way is significantly better and less faff than whatever chef's-home-kitchen, start-with-a-mirpoix thing I was working with before.


Brown off 8oz uncased supermarket brand sweet italian sausage (patties are pre-portioned into 4oz discs and work great for the same price) and 8oz ground beef (80-85%) in a little oil. Add a little fish sauce and fry down, then incorporate and fry down for a few minutes each, in order:

Then all the herbs and powders in one go:

Then, once fragrant:

Once nicely fragrant again, mix together and continue to fry down, removing moisture but keeping from burning, then add 4 large white button mushrooms (sliced) and continue to fry (adding oil as you go if necessary but you shouldn't need to if your beef is fatty enough) until they express and boil off all their moisture.

Deglaze with a splash (4oz) of sake (or white wine or whatever), reduce by half to burn off the alcohol, then add another splash (4oz) of a neutral liquid (stock or water or, if you have it in the fridge, mushroom soaking liquid, works great, or just use double alcohol but it might need more time to cook off some of the alcohol and some more salt at the end), and a 28oz can of "kitchen ready" tomatoes, a splash (2oz?) of milk, and a squirt of olive oil.

Bring to an almost boil while stirring, reduce to a vigorous simmer, and cook down to wanted consistency. 60-90 minutes? depends on your liquid volume and your pan surface area - shallow and wide is ideal.

Make pasta, grate cheese, season, etc. Works real good as a baked ziti sauce base but you'd want to reduce the liquid quantities a bit and reign in the salt if you're going all in on the cheese.

This'll put 2 pint delis into the freezer for later with enough left over for dinner whenever you make it.

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