Saturdays are my guaranteed date night with my guy. We take turns making dinner. He has a very particular diet; I’ll go into details about it some other time. I was getting frustrated on trying to figure out what to cook for him, so he’s been making dinner every Saturday for the past month. So tonight is my turn and I decided to try my hand at (Semi)Homemade Spaghetti Sauce. I have done it one or two times in previous years but never with fresh herbs.
I scoured the interwebs for ideas on the amount of ingredients I should use. I had a basic recipe that I learned from a friend and her vegetarian boyfriend many many many many years ago. So I knew about sautéing the onions and garlic before hand and that I should add diced tomatoes to tomato sauce. I got some more general ideas from different web sites and come up with my own recipe.
After doing Saturday morning chores I set to work on making my spaghetti sauce. The sautéed onions and garlic made my apartment smell amazing. However I quickly discovered that there is a lot of liquid in a large can of diced tomatoes. I combined the diced tomatoes and the tomato sauce with the onions and garlic, and then stirred in the mushrooms. I turned the heat on low and let simmer for pretty much the entire day. The bay leaf was added a couple hours after turning on the Crockpot.
About two hours before the scheduled time before my date I rushed around preparing myself and the rest of the sauce. I chose to use Chicken Sausage with Italian seasonings. They were extra lean and contained no Nitrates (the only way I could get the guy to agree on that particular protein). I browned them according to the package instructions, sliced them up and added them to the sauce.
The most intensive part of the whole process was making preparing the fresh herbs. I pulled off each individual leaf from the stems. I know there has to be a better way to prepare herbs but I didn’t have the inclination at that moment to figure it out. Once the herbs were washed and dried I put them into little juice cups and minced them with a pair of scissors.
However, it was at this time that I realized our entertainment for the evening was not viewable on my television. To make a long story short I had to pack up my Crockpot, and the herbs I had just minced and take them up to his place. I really wanted to take a picture of the finished product, but there wasn’t enough time to grab the camera before I had to leave.
The end result was a thick spaghetti sauce. According to my guy it was very good, and was like the gourmet version of what he gets in the jar. So He liked it, he even has the leftovers. I usually give him the leftovers of whatever I bring to his house, but more because I don’t want to tote the dishes back home and wash them. He appreciated the fact that I used fresh ingredients instead of dried herbs. All in all the recipe was a win.