The Flat Possum Gazette  

Test Kitchen

Courtesy of the Road-Kill Press

= Italian-Mexican Spaghetti Sauce =

Bill,

Another batch of this spaghetti sauce is on the stove being cooked as I write.  I have just sampled it and the Jalapeno is just kicking in.  I made a batch last February and my notes (always make notes) show it as "very good", but I have enhanced this batch some and will give you the benefit of my enhancement. This recipe has a few more vegetables than the traditional Italian sauce. My "enhancements" are in the Mexican tradition, so there is a blend of two cultures.

2 pounds lean ground beef (I use sirloin steak, trimmed of fat, and grind my own)
1/2 to 1 pound ground pork (I use thin pork chops, trimmed of fat, and ditto on grind)          
4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
3/4 Cups chopped celery
1 large carrot, diced
2 to 4 onions, chopped
3 to 6 cloves garlic, minced
1 (6oz.) can tomato paste (not tomato sauce)
1 (14.5 oz) can whole tomatoes, broken up in the juice
2 Bay leaves
1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled
1 teaspoon basil leaves, crumbled
1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced (use the seeds and everything for added warmth)
1 can Rotel Tomatoes and Green Chiles
Threadgill's Meat Seasoning to taste (Did I give you the recipe for this? If not, I can.)
Lawry's Seasoned Salt to taste
Kosher Salt and Ground Black Pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan Cheese
3/4 to 1 pound spaghetti, cooked (I just use a whole package, whatever that is)

Lightly brown the meat and onions in olive oil in a heavy stock pot or saute pan. Then add the rest of the ingredients except Parmesan cheese and spaghetti.

Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer slowly for 2 to 3 hours, stirring occasionally, and taste, taste, taste.  Tweak the seasonings to suit yourself. Since you are a mushroom freak, add them to your heart's content.  Also, olives, black and green, add them too. That stuff always gives additional velocity to spaghetti sauces.

After the above sauce is done, I let it rest in the ice box for at least 24 hours.

Probably the next day or so, you will want to combine it with the cooked spaghetti.  Place a layer of sauce in the bottom of a baking pan; layer in about 1/3 of the cooked spaghetti, sprinkle a generous amount of Parmesan cheese on the spaghetti; layer on more sauce, more spaghetti, more cheese, and so on, leaving some sauce for the top.  Sprinkle top with Parmesan.  Put in a 350 deg. oven and bake until bubbly. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and garlic bread.

Now, if I were to choose a salad to go with this it would be simply grapefruit slices on romaine lettuce hearts with a dressing of oil & vinegar and toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on top. But you can go ahead and gorp it up with your own dressing if you want to.

This sauce will freeze, and if you want the absolute truth, it may be better if frozen for a few weeks through blending of flavors.

This recipe will probably serve 6 to 8, but it can be doubled or tripled if you want to feed all your lady friends down at the synagogue.

Dad

 

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