When I try something yummy, I'm not afraid to beg and plead to get the recipe. And when people ask me for a recipe, I always willingly pass along my secrets. (Duh, I have a blog.) Well, a long time ago, up in Highlands, North Carolina, I began begging for the recipe for the yummiest spaghetti sauce I have ever had.
My parents, John, and I were all invited to spend the weekend with Betty & George Heery at their mountain house in Highlands. (I grew up with their kids, Neal & George.)
The good thing about this recipe is that it can be made as is, and frozen in batches, or given to neighbors or friends. Or you can cut the recipe into thirds. But as long as you're making it, go for the bulk and have something in your
One time, we had a bunch of John's Millsaps friends up to Beersheba to celebrate his 30th birthday (about 8 1/2 years ago) and I served this for dinner. It has since been passed along to Mississippi and been given a name:
Big George's Rockin' Spaghetti Sauce
3 medium onions, roughly chopped
3-4 ribs celery, roughly chopped
(Did you know that a stalk of celery is the whole shebang with lots of ribs. Mr. Heery taught me that the same weekend he told me the recipe.)
3-4 large carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup soybean oil
(It's usually labeled vegetable oil, but you have to read the ingredients to be sure it's not sunflower oil or something else. I'm not sure of the fundamental difference in a recipe, but he was insistent.)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
8 fresh basil leaves
Put all this in a big ol' pot and let simmer on the stove for 1 1/2 hours. There's no need to do any tiny dice or anything because you're going to puree it later.
Before . . .
After . . .
After time's up, pull out your
Pour it into a different large pot. It takes about 3 or 4 batches to get it all through the blender. And lookey there! It changed colors! It goes from red to orange. I cannot tell you the ribbing I got from Chad Danner (now owner of T-bones in Chattanooga). I think it freaked him out.
Anywho . . . once it's all been pureed, add the following:
1 stick of butter
1 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar
Let it heat on extremely low, just to stay warm, for another 30 minutes to let those flavors really meld. Oh my yum! It's so good. Tonight we had it with some fresh cheese ravioli. But it's fantastic with good ol' spaghetti. A few times I've even made homemade gnocchi. (That sounds like another blog post!). That time I served it with shredded mozzarella instead of parmesan in an effort to mimic the gnocchi at Pasta Vino. Mmm . . . it is SO good. This is just about the
I hope you decide to make this. It will make me happy.