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My brother lived in Italy for a few years and he came back with a lovely recipe for spicy tomato sauce. He's a vegetarian, so I adjusted the recipe to include meat. Note: I usually use ground turkey, but any ground meat (chicken, beef, lamb, etc.) may be substituted. For the more fatty meats like beef or lamb, just drain the fat before adding the tomatoes.
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Heat the oil on medium heat in a large, heavy saucepan until water dropped in sizzles gently. Throw in the onions, chili, and garlic and fry until the onions are golden and translucent. DO NOT LET THEM BURN, burned garlic tastes terrible. Increase the heat to high and add the meat. Fry until the meat has just turned brown, then add the chopped tomatoes.
Bring the sauce to a slow boil, then turn the heat down to low and allow to simmer for as long as you want. The longer the sauce simmers, the better it is. Taste the sauce, and season as necessary. About ten minutes before you are ready to serve, turn off the heat, add the basil and oregano, throw in a splash more olive oil, and serve on top of your favorite pasta.
This sauce is delicious without the chili, as well, if you or a family member is not into spiciness. Simpy omit the chili and add a touch more pepper.
Also, veggies can be added with little difficulty. Simply peel and grate 2-3 carrots and celery, then add to the oil with the onions, chili, and garlic.
This recipe is perfect for lasagna and any other dish you would usually make with spaghetti sauce. If you like meatballs on your spaghetti, you can easily mix the first four ingredients (excepting the oil) and add a bit of seasonings and some basil and oregano, a half-cup of seasoned breadcrumbs soaked in a tablespoon of milk, then form into balls and fry in the oil before adding the sauce. Yumm. :)
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