Tomato Sauce from Italy
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion, celery, and garlic in hot oil until softened, about 5 minutes; add beef and cook, stirring to break into small chunks, until no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes more.
- Stir stewed tomatoes and tomato paste with the beef mixture until smooth; add mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, parsley, salt, sugar, nutmeg, oregano, and black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is flavorful, about 10 minutes.
- Stir baking soda into the sauce. Continue cooking until you can taste a reduction in acidity of the sauce, about 10 minutes more.
Cook’s Notes:Baking soda helps to neutralize acid in tomatoes, making the sauce more palatable. Add soda in very small increments and cook sauce several minutes after adding. Taste and add more soda if desired, but sauce will tend to be more or less acrid, depending on quality of tomatoes and paste.I freeze the remainder and simply defrost and heat in the microwave. This can be done several times and it is as good as a leftover as it is when it is first made.If sauce becomes too thick, add a little water toward the end of cooking. If too thin, cook uncovered about 15 minutes.Use whatever ground meat you prefer. This works with beef, turkey, or chicken.
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