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Mom’s spaghetti sauce

Let's eat!I had a craving for my mom’s spaghetti sauce today. She made it with tomato paste, garlic, oil, salt & pepper & hobbit (basil) if she had some. It was a simple sauce and we either ate it plain over spaghetti on Fridays or had spareribs with it. She’d fry the spareribs until brown, then finish cooking them in the sauce.

Well, I didn’t have any tomato paste so I made up this version, with the addition of oregano, parsley, and anchovy paste. Since it’s Friday, I’ll serve this plain, but tomorrow when I go to the grocery, I’ll buy some spareribs to add.

Mom’s Spaghetti Sauce

OK some of  my  Italian friends would insist on straining the seeds out – “so sauce won’t be bitter”.  I didn’t but you can if you want.  I also don’t add that famous pinch of sugar to cut the acid, either. What I did do was add a bit of oregano – my Italian friends would NEVER do that !  But, hey, I’m Lebanese, remember, and oregano is a staple in my kitchen….one more thing, again, some of my Italian friends add a bit of chopped onion, too.

2 cans, 28-35 oz ea., San Marzano tomatoes, put through food processor or blender

1/3 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons garlic to start with – 2 large cloves, minced

Palmful fresh parsley, minced (opt)

2-3 teaspoons dry basil or palmful fresh, chopped

Squeeze of anchovy paste – about 1/2 teaspoon (opt but so good)

Pinch oregano

Parmesan for garnish

In a heavy pan, heat olive oil. Add everything but tomatoes. Cook on low until garlic smells fragrant but not burned, only golden looking. Add tomatoes, simmer for an hour or so on low, uncovered for plain sauce.

If you’re adding ground beef/sausage, meatballs or browned spareribs, add the browned meat about a half hour into making the sauce. Simmer for another 45 minutes or so until meat is cooked thoroughly,


Tip from Rita’s kitchen:

I learned this from an Italian chef: Stir in a bit of pasta sauce into the cooked spaghetti right after you drain it. Let it sit a bit and then proceed.
IMG_1735Tomatoes San Marzano

IMG_1736Pureed tomatoes

Anchovy paste

Anchovy paste


See the sizzle? Don’t let the garlic get brown!
Just starting to cook

.Just starting to cook – kitchen smells Italian!




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