Sunday, June 26, 2011

Spaghetti with All Day Sauce that I made in 2 Hours

This is a recipe I actually made a couple of months ago, but never wrote about. It was one of my cooking weekends where I made several dishes and photographed them. This one just kept getting passed over probably because it came about because I messes up the directions so bad by the time it was cooked it didn't resemble the original. The original was a recipe that used 1/2 pound beef, 1/2 pork and 1/2 pound veal cooked in a tomato sauce for several hours. They also made meatballs but they were very tiny. To make the meatballs you used 1/2 pound ground beef, 1/2 pound ground pork and 1/2 pound ground veal. Can you see what my first mistake was? I got a mixture of ground beef, pork and veal from the store but none for the sauce. My second mistake was I was making this for a friend from Thailand, Hi Steve, and didn't allow enough time for the sauce to cook for several hours.

The first lesson you should learn when cooking is read the recipe all the way through. The second thing it make sure you read it as written not how you want it to be.

At this point I had to put on my thinking cap and channel my inner Alton Brown and see if I could fake my way through this. They cooked the meat in the sauce for hours to give it flavor. I needed a way to add meat flavor to my sauce but in a short amount of time. I decided to make the meatballs and brown them in the pan I was going to make the sauce in. After I removed the meatballs I deglazed the pan with 1 cup of beef broth and then reduced the broth to 1/2 giving me a strong beef flavor. Next I added the tomato paste and cooked that for a couple of minutes then I added the can of crushed tomatoes. This way I got the beef flavor into the sauce. I let the sauce reduce until it was very rich and thick intensifying the flavors. I also added the meatballs back to the sauce when I added the crushed tomatoes, letting the meatballs flavor the sauce. It turned out very good and I did not end up throwing out the 1 and 1/2 pounds of meat that was used in the original recipe to flavor the sauce. The original says to remove it and never says to use it for anything else and since they made the meatballs before they removed the meat from the sauce they didn't grind it and use it for meatballs.

As a side note I used bucatini not spaghetti for the pasta. Bucatini is like spaghetti but it is thicker and has a hole in the center like a straw.  Target carries bucatini in the Giada DeLaurentiis line of food if  you want to try it otherwise it might be hard to find. Spaghetti is just as good I just wanted to try bucatini.

You can use my traditional meatball recipe, but increase the ground beef to 3/4 pound and add an additional sausage or if you you can get a ground beef, ground pork and ground veal mixture from your butcher/grocery store use 1 1/2 pounds of that instead of the ground beef and Italian sausage in my recipe. Also you will want to make tiny meatballs, I made 86 from my 1 1/2 pounds of meat. I used a 1 tsp measuring spoon to scoop the beef and then rolled it in my hand.

All Day Tomato Sauce in 2 Hours
1 recipe of My basic Tomato Sauce
2 cups of beef broth
1 tbs tomato paste

Make the meatballs and brown them in a dutch oven. Remove the meatballs and set aside. Add the beef broth to the pan and stir to release the brown bits from the meatballs from the pan. Cook until the broth has reduced by 1/2. This will take 10 minutes or so. Then add the tomato paste and stir it into the broth. let it cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Then add the tomato sauce. Stir the sauce until the broth has been incorporated into the broth. Add the meatballs and let them simmer for an hour. Serve over your favorite spaghetti or bucatini. Garnish with shaved parmesan and or basil leaves.


  1. Darn it I wish there was a non stop plane to Charolette hate the layover or you would have had company today. I love fresh sauce, its part of our heart and soul in our Italian family, every sunday, like it or not that's what you'll find cooking, but not today I had to work can I come for leftovers? looks great that Greg love it!

  2. Sounds wonderful!!! I tend to make spaghetti with a red sausage sauce, but now I'm craving meatballs!

  3. It sounds delicious! I love to make spaghetti and meatballs as well. I love the idea of using beef broth!

  4. I recently have a new love for spaghetti and meatballs again. This sauce sounds delish!

  5. I have some very precious beef bone broth in my freezer (which was the subject of a blog post I did about 6 months ago). I never considered using it for spaghetti sauce, though. Time to expand my horizons.

  6. Another easy recipe! I've never used beef broth, but that does sound like it would make a quick rich-tasting sauce. Love tips like that!

  7. Oh my your sauce looks so good. I will have to try it. I have a few hours to kill this weekend. That would be perfect.

  8. A cooking weekend! This is such a great idea Greg! I am totally going to do this (and give you credit of course :D). And the pasta looks bellisimo!

  9. Thanks for all of the nice comments. It is nice seeing some new faces on my blog this week. Well most of you aren't new I have followed you on Foodbuzz.

  10. I made a sunday sauce last tuesday and added tiny meatballs too... I used my mother's recipe with chopped spinach in the meatballs & italian sausage meat mixture very similar to yours... think I might have leftovers tonite -
    hey Greg, I do hope you try the rub this weekend, it is really good on pork, works well on other meats too... don't forget to use a mop solution and let me know how you like it........ have a great fourth my friend and best to your family...

  11. That looks good. I like to add fennel seeds to my sauces. It gives it just a little flavor that adds so much to the dish! Great post