Tuesday, August 2, 2011

PW Inspiration

From Pioneer Woman
Apparently I'm still on the search for a good spaghetti sauce. With all those herbs growing on our patio, I decided to try something with a little inspiration from Pioneer Woman. I did NOT follow her recipe to the T. Partly because I didn't want to roll individual meatballs (because I like loose meat better anyway) but also in part because I didn't have any fresh parmesan. Or bread crumbs. Or eggs.

So I took her recipe and modified it a bit. I know I know... dangerous, right?

WRONG PEOPLE!!! My husband loved this spaghetti sauce so much he had TWO heaping servings. HEAPING.

I guess even when her recipe is modified, Pioneer Woman is still a success in this house.

Here's what I used:
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1/2 onion, chopped up
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 12 basil leaves
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh oregano
  • 1/4 c. red wine
  • 8 oz. can of tomato paste
I basically followed half her recipe except I skipped the whole meatballing step. I put the beef, onions and garlic into a pan and cooked it on medium until the meat was almost all brown. I drained it a bit (because we don't like water-y sauce in this house) and added the diced tomatoes, salt, pepper, sugar, wine, basil and oregano, and let it simmer for about 20 minutes.

Here's where I deviated from the recipe. {Insert scary music} After 20 minutes, the sauce did NOT look like her sauce at all. I'm sure it was because of the whole "skipping the meatballs" step but it just looked like ground beef and tomatoes, very watery (what I was trying to avoid) and not thick like hers. So I added the tomato paste to thicken it up and let it simmer for 10 more minutes.

That seemed to bring it to perfection. It wasn't too onion-y, garlic-y or herb-y and it was just the right thickness for a good spaghetti sauce. I was nervous about adding wine but Pioneer Woman has opened my cooking world to include wines and it seems to be going well so far. Nothing has tasted like rotten grapes yet...

The important thing about this recipe is not that I winged (wung?) it but that it passed the Husband Approval Test. Out of all the marinara recipes I've tried and tweaked, my husband declared "you should only make this one from now on".

I'll assume it's because it was so good - not because he was getting tired of eating bad marinara recipes.