Thursday, 26 August 2010

Spaghetti with Mega Meat Sauce

On the way home after taking the family on a big hike on Sunday I had a total hankering for spaghetti with meat sauce. We had just hiked for 2 hours and explored various deep Indiana Jones-type crevasses so we'd worked up quite an appetite.

Clarification: When I said that we explored various deep crevasses, the 'we' I'm referring to is actually Brad and the boys. Missy Moo, the dog and I merely watched ... but we watched with such extreme intensity that I'm certain I burned some calories too!

Now, when I mentioned that I had a hankerin' for meat sauce I'm not talking about some thin sauce with a few wee meatballs thrown in. Oh no, no, no! I'm talking about a thick, meat-laden carnivore-lovin' red sauce! (*cue chest thumping*) As soon as we got home I went to town coming up with a recipe and this is what I came up with.

For those who are not meatitarians you may want to try another recipe. This recipe embraces both the beloved bovine as well as our lovable porkers. I really enjoyed how the various flavours came together ... especially the red wine and the bacon. I highly recommend (if not outright encourage) drinking a glass of the red wine while you're cooking.

1lb ground beef
2 garlic sausages, cases removed and chopped
1/2 lb bacon, diced
1 1/2 cups carrot, grated or finely chopped
1 red onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup red wine
1 tsp dried red chilis
2 tbsp Worchestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (680mL) can tomato sauce
28oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup half and half creamer or milk (optional)
6 tbsp fresh oregano, chopped
6 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
Garnish with grated fresh Parmesan cheese

In a large pot over medium heat, cook beef, sausage and bacon until no longer pink. Drain fat, leaving approximately 2 tbsp fat in the pot. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and set aside.

Cook carrots, onion, mushrooms and garlic in the pot until tender. Put meat back into pot. Add all ingredients except for the creamer (if using), fresh basil and oregano.

Tip: I didn't want a really chunky sauce so at this point in the recipe I used my electric hand mixer and broke up all the chunks making it a thicker sauce. This is an optional step but I loved the texture.

Simmer for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. I simmered for about an hour and a half and it was delicious! Add the creamer (if using) and the fresh hebs during the last 10 minutes of cooking (ensuring that the sauce does not boil).

Serve over pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

Note: If you don't have fresh herbs, use 1 tbsp of dried as a substitute for each spice. Add the dried herbs at the same time as the tomato sauce. Fresh herbs are added closer to the end of cooking but dried should be added earlier in the cooking process.

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