My Italian neighbor has been delighting my family for ten years with his delicious pasta sauce. I've been perstering him for years to share his recipe with me, but he always insists that there is no recipe. It's a little different each time. Finally, I cornered him with a recipe card and pen in my hand. Here's what I got out of him:
tomatoes - pressed through a food mill
LOTS of fresh herbs: oregano, basil, bayleaf
chicken or vegetable boullion
fresh ground pepper
(skip the salt, the boullion is already salty)
ground Italian sausage
Simmer tomatoes, herbs, garlic, sugar, boullion, worchestershire, pepper, and onions for 4 hours. Add peppers and mushrooms. Brown Italian sausage and add. Simmer about 4 more hours.
I had a full bushel of tomatoes yesterday and used this recipe. Because there aren't exact measurements I had to guess, and taste, a lot. I skipped the Italian sausage because I'm canning the sauce - I'll add the sausage when I open the jar.
It's still simmering on the stove as I type and my whole house smells awesome. Mmmm, and it tastes great! Best sauce I've ever made.
I've never added boullion or worchestershire to pasta sauce before. I never even thought to do such a thing before. But, I think that's what makes the sauce so delish.
Addendum: My neighbor came by this morning with loads of fresh basil to share from his garden. He says only use a wee amount of worchestershire (oops). He also says that it's way better to substitute good wine for the boullion. (Don't use cooking wine -- if you wouldn't drink it from a glass it won't be good in your sauce.)