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The SPAGHETTI QUEST

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

We were talking in another section, about quests we have gone on to produce the perfect edible goody...

A few years ago I went on the quest for perfect spaghetti sauce after watching an older Itallian gentalman make some from fresh tomatos out of his garden... and eating what I thought was the very best I ever had eaten..

.I can do that......I thought to myself............ROTF.gifROTF.gif  

Already had a good thick evenly spiced sauce...But It didn't have something that his did

My sauce was a Roma, Big momma,Cherry tomato blend. 

They start out in the Juicer, then the pulp went thru- the food seive/mill  

For every gallon of pulp free tomato juice I added 1 green, pepper 1 Jap pepper, 1 medium Onion, and a stick of celery all  juiced as well... Brought this to a boil for around a minute or 2 then turned it down to a simmer after it had reduced to 50% chop your chunky's...Green pepper, Onion, garlic, Fennel,Basil, oregano, and Parsley...Go easy on these...Remember you still have HOURS TO GO simmering and stirring...They will blossom and the sauce will reduce another 50% before it is ready

When it's as thick as wanted..I'd toss the Jars in the oven to preheat  and then water bath can it...It was good but not AWESOME

THE QUEST...4 YEARS OF GROWING...AND TOSSING HUNDREDS OF GALLONS OF TOMATO SAUCE IN THE COMPOSTER...

Here's what I learned

ALL THE INGREDIENTS  FRESH FROM THE GARDEN

Juicing all the veggies and some of the herbs, gives the sauce a more evenly balanced end product....BUT it is ALOT harder to judge the end product flavor when starting...Go easy on them...since they can be added later...As late as 75% reduction

 

 

Tomatos...Roma's..Good, sturdy base, Nice even Predictable flavor...Big momma's basically the same as the Roma only larger, But can get a bit sugary when harvested a tad bit late,

Cherry's I add the the cherry tomato's to sweeten the sauce...I added Opalka's ...They are nearly seed and jelly free...almost solid fleshed...With a mild even flavor...You can adjust your tart/sweetness with the tomato ratio...More Cherry's for sweeter Opalka's for a fuller body...Roma's for more Tomatoey flavor...Add some beefsteak or Better Boys for extra Tomatoey

Other Juiced in Veggies... I went so far as to add in Juiced Carrot's  But more than 1 carrot per 1 1/2 gallons of juice got overpowering...Juicing in Anise and fennel creates a more smooth delivery over using seeds...Altho seeds are safer (flavor wise) but when You bite into the seeds.......

Juiced in peppers  give the sauce that aroma and hint of flavor with having people pick them out....MY WIFE

Juiced herbs are a mess in the juicer...I only juice the stalks of the Fennel , Anise, Parsley,Oregano,Basil, and cilantro...Set aside the leaves for later use or toss in the dehydrator

Here's where it gets funky on most

I used to let a few seeds get through the mill when grinding in the pulp...I like the tartness

Keep the seeds out...A good tip to grinding the pulp...Is Simmer it for a few minutes and grind it in warm...Skins and pulp go through much easier

I will often times put the seed/skin goop in the dehydrator to use as a powder later

Once you have the juicing done and are comfortable with the mixes...Crank up your heat

Bring it to a boil stirring constantly...Only for a couple of minutes turn down to a simmer

Lot's of sauce goes SIDEWAYS here...Too hot and the sauce cooks to fast and get's that acrid taste OR scorches

The delemma here is tempature balance...Too cool and your making a huge growing grounds for bad bacteria...Too hot and you have a not very good sauce...That's why I say it goes sideways here... More in a bit

 

post #2 of 14

Spec, morning.....    You have my attention.......  Coffee.gif... Dave

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Mornin' Dave

The reason I juice everything is  simple,  Most of the nutrients and the fullest flavor hides in the skin, seeds and corestock...Juicing get the most of this plus saves time over blanching and peeling the Mater's.... icon_rolleyes.gif Plus I like dropping stuff in the juicer

Back to the Spaghetti

The simmering needs to be above 140* but below 160*

Your primal instinct is to turn up the heat...Trust me I learned it the hard way...IT TAKES FOREVER

as it reduces and thickens 10 to 40 hours you have to increase your stirring

Once you get it reduced to around 50% Half of what you started with in the pot This is when I like to add most of the chunky's....Tomato chunks,peppers, Onions, Garlic, and the herb leaves...If you like crisp chunky stuff reserve some till the end, But you will want some to cook down and permeate the sauce...How much you ask... Well each batch is different...I generally add enough of the chunky's so there is atleast 1 of each per ladle full...But I like things spicey

If you have a dehydrator this is the time to have It running with the tomato and pepper discards...You will be using this later in this sauce

Stir ...wait ....stir....wait....

When it's reduced about another 50% your getting close...Now is the most dangerous time for the sauce...Drop the temp to 135* to 140*... Gently   stir ...stir..... stir

If you like crispy chunky's add them now

Your sauce should be able to float your Stainless steel ladle soon...When the ladle floats on top of your sauce I consider it to be done...This can take an easy couple of hours

Patients Grasshopper...Patience...That's what I have to say to myself

Now here's the twist...

If you have your flavor where you want it to be....But the damn sauce is too runny

Those who read my Dehydrator thread will know that this is where dehydrated tomato's come in

Add 1 tablespoon at a time stir in gently...

Give it 10 minutes or so to rehydrate and thicken...

Keep doing this and tasting as you go until you get the flavor and consistancy you want

Whith that said...Powdered tomato is just a tool to thicken...Don't get carried away with it...It can't replace the low and slow...It'll just help you if you need to thicken a bit without having your spices overpower the sauce you have worked so hard on

 

Finally...I preheat my jars in the oven dry...or in the microwave with hot water to at least 180*

Standard fill the jars to within an inch of the top (Headspace) put the lids on with the bands snug...not tight

Put in the water canner and boil for 20 minutes

Pull the jars and tighten the bands as they come out of the canner

Then rack to cool...then to the root cellar 


Edited by spec - 3/11/12 at 10:22am
post #4 of 14

Wow this is a interesting read Spec...i'll go through my wives grandmothers cookbook...{a 100 percent Italian lady} she has all hand written recipes and i think i saw a canned sauce recipe included in there. I'll be glad to share if i find it.

post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 

Cool,

I guess I should tell ya the KICK IN THE NUTS PARTbanana_smiley.gifROTF.gif

After all of this...I went back to almost my old reicipe...

I was talking to the old gentalman's nephew a couple of days ago...After all of this..My buddy just kinda giggled and says to me Uncle alfredo...says your cooking it to hot...You had the mix right about your 3rd attempt

He kept the heat really low...and served it fresh...Too low to trust in canning it

post #6 of 14

Spe, Thanks..... I like that recipe....  If our oven went to 130, I'd stick it in there for a day or so....   Ding..Ding.... Nesco roaster .... no burn bottom.....  this is going to be easy.....

 

If you have a dehydrator this is the time to have It running with the tomato and pepper discards... What discards ???

 

Those who read my Dehydrator thread will know that this is where dehydrated tomato's come in.. Add 1 tablespoon at a time stir in gently...  You dehydrate your extras I take it....

 

So what is your thought on the Nesco ?????    Dave

post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave,

I hope you really like once you make it icon_razz.gif  It's actually very easy...Just takes time and patience....Patience GRASSHOPPER...Patience

There's not much for discards after Juicing...Some skins, and seeds off the tomatoes and peppers skins    But when slicing up the chunky bits, there is the skins,core, and some seeds..once dehydrated the seeds are no longer bitter and work well, in moderation in the tomato powder...The discards from 1 batch of spaghetti doesn't make much powder...So I save ALL my tomato discards from salads,Rosemary's baby mix, salsa, ETC... all year...I try to keep a quart jar full...I think once you use the tomato powder once you'll find lots of other uses for it in your cooking...But here it really shines

What Nesco do you have? I ran the Ronco, ( Antique ) and American Harvest's for years...Only had 1 nesco...That was the one with the top fan and heater

My Buddy gave it to me..It would only dry effectively when using 4-6 trays...I think the newer ones are much better 

I wish I had some Spaghetti sauce on hand now...Last years tomato crop was 5 tomatoes out of 150 plants...either burned up in the heat or just wouldn't produce fruit

post #8 of 14

spec, sorry for the confusion.... I was thinking of using a Nesco Roasting oven... Are you familiar with those ??  An electric thermostat controlled unit with an air gap between the elements and the roasting pan... heats from the sides....  They are a cool tool..... 

My dehydrator is a Sausage Maker D-10..that is a nice tool too....

 

The tomato powder is something we will have to make... sounds perfect for thickening sauces.... After last years late, late crop of tomatoes, we should have plenty to recipe test this year...  last year, no tomatoes until the end of sept... then tons... bride must have put up 70+ pints to get them used up before they went bad.... she made some kind of sauce and plain canned etc...   you just can't beat home canned veggies and fruits... 

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave,

I'm not familliar with that unit...Sounds like it would work well

My tomatoes last year were a waste of water...275 gallons a day...Hauled in

 

What I didn't put in the posts above but prolly should have was The different tomatoes that I tried but didn't work for me

post #10 of 14

Very informative as always than you.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 

Thanks driver,

Some of the tomat's that I tried...And DIDN'T WORK were

Black asian heirloom tomato...AWESOME  sweet cherry tomato...Dark Purple to black when ripe...Too much sugar...they would get moldy in the fridge in a couple of days...way to sweet once reduced...Altho when sliced and dried a good addition to other recipes

Any STRIPEYS OR YELLOWS...Too juicey/seedy...Turns into a really brown sauce...Taste was OK...but reduction time was days

Any Of the GIANT variety...Again too juicey/seedy...Used to "Tomato up" the flavor work good...Will work in a pinch...EXELLENT as a tomato juice for drinking...V-8 juice...But for sauce sloooooowwwwww reduction

PLUM TOMATO...They do work well...But it takes lots and lots of them...In my opinion are better used for table/salads and snacking on

I know I'm leaving some out...

Just a note to anybody reading this...and going to make some

Homemade spaghetti sauce WILL NOT look like the storebought stuff...It will have a deeper more Branywine color, depending on how much peppers you added...When I make the spicy sauce it's almost brown...Think of mixing paint...Red and Green make BROWN...

It may seperate in the Jar...That is natural...It will be fine once re-heated...

If you end up with some clear juice on your plate...next time reduce further...Remeber...You can still reduce some when prepairing for supper

Texture...The texture WILL be different...Since this is all natural without the thickening,coloring and preserving AGENTS/CHEMICALS

Barb...The SPECINATOR... Is a city girl...Once I got her past the strangeness of my sauce...Now she won't buy the stuff in the stores

Any questions or comments

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO POST THEM UP

CUZ THIS IS JUST MY OPINION

 

post #12 of 14

Interesting and I'm taking note!

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 

Hey Dave,

Isthis the unit you are speaking of?

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/app/2903498533.html

post #14 of 14

Spec, morning....   That is the big unit... I have one of those.... that is a good price too....   I also have a 6 qt... It does not have the warming tray... it makes great baked spuds.... 

We have used the warming trays when the holidays come around for large gatherings, in the larger unit... 

 

Dave

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by spec View Post

Hey Dave,

Isthis the unit you are speaking of?

http://minneapolis.craigslist.org/dak/app/2903498533.html



 

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