Today was our third annual Vestry hosted spaghetti supper at church. The vestry is the group of laypeople that run the business operation of the church. Once a year, we hit the kitchen and cook dinner for whomever wishes to part take. Today, their was a (devilishly) friendly competition for those of us who conjured up a spaghetti sauce from scratch and up for grabs was the coveted "Golden Apron".
I worked super hard at my sauce and it was harder to make (IMHO) than the others because I volunteered to make a vegetarian sauce and therefore, did not have the advantage of the most common element in flavoring a spaghetti sauce - meat. I started the sauce on Saturday this way it would be mostly done for today.
I started by toasting some cumin seeds then adding a mirepoix and some jalapeno peppers. I seasoned the base with salt, pepper and a touch of curry powder along with a few bay leaves then let them sweat it out for a while. I then added a can of tomato paste, worked it in for a minute or two then added a 28 oz. can of whole tomatoes, a 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes, and two 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes. I gave the whole shebang a good stir, and let it simmer and cook down for a few hours before the next steps. After the initial long simmer, I blended the ingredients to incorporate all the wonderful vegetable and homogenize the mixture. I returned it to the pot, added fresh basil and oregano along with a few teaspoons of sugar and an few teaspoons of honey to balance the acidity a bit. After another 20-30 minutes, I took it off the heat and let it cool before refrigerating it.
When I got into the kitchen this afternoon, I put the sauce back in the pot and let it start to reheat over low heat. I then added some more fresh oregano and my secret ingredient - sour cream! I let it get to warm before serving and let me tell you folks, it was freaking delicious. However, I did not with the apron - that went to Sarah, who played the pregnancy card and that, along with her excellent sauce (seasoned with meat) were enough to edge me out.
What a great and fun fellowship event - lot's of fun!