in the cold minnesota winter months i love making a big batch of soup or heaping bowls of pasta. i crave slow cooked comfort foods. it is one of the only ways to warm up from the inside out.
over the years i have made so many batches of spaghetti sauce. each one seems to be a bit different - i try something a bit different each time. i think i have finally settled on what i believe is the ultimate spaghetti sauce.
this spaghetti sauce is a balance of heat and bite. the red pepper flakes give it the heat while the red wine and vinegar give it the right amount of bite. the turning point in spaghetti sauce for me was the fire roasted tomatoes. they give this sauce an amazing smoky depth of flavor that cannot be achieved with regular tomatoes. i make this sauce with the meatless crumbles and without. it is excellent either way. serve this sauce over good ole fashioned spaghetti noodles.
28 ounces crushed tomatoes - Muir Glen fire roasted are the best
12 ounces tomato sauce
12 ounces vegetable stock
pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons italian seasoning
1/2 cup red wine - i use a cabernet or zinfandel
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar - plus a splash at the end
1 tablespoon tomato paste - i have used regular and sun-dried
6 cloves garlic - minced
1 small onion - chopped
1 bag morning star crumbles (optional)
in a dutch oven, saute onion in olive oil after three minutes add garlic. cook for 2 minutes. add tomato paste and stir. you want the tomato paste to brown just a bit on the bottom of the pan. add wine and deglaze the bottom of the pan. let simmer until reduce by half.
add vegetable stock, red wine vinegar, crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper. bring to boil then reduce to simmer.
allow to simmer at least 30 minutes. if you are using morning star crumbles - add at the very end and let heat through in the sauce for 5 - 6 minutes. during the last minute add a splash of vinegar to finish it off.
serve the sauce over spaghetti noodles and great some parmesan cheese on top.
this sauce freezes very well. i often make a double batch and freeze half.
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