Cooking With Rants: RantSauce

Okay, first of all I know what the title is making all of you think and this is not what this post is about. That that would be pretty gross – you can’t cook with that anyway. This post is about one of my mostest favoritest food genres, and we’re going to channel our inner Italian here, ‘yo.

So I loves me something Italian to eat. Italian food is like it’s own food group to me, so bear with the enthusiasm. On this installment, we’ll review my basic meat sauce (again, focus – this is not about sex or porn). To get rolling quickly, I’ll cover my basic ingredients:

  • Tomato sauce: 2 30-ounce cans plus 2 15-ounce cans.
  • Tomato paste: 2 15-ounce cans, and have a couple 7oz cans available
  • Crushed tomatos: 1 30-ounce can
  • Black olives: 1 15-ounce can of large olives, each quartered
  • Garlic: You will want an entire knot… all of it. Yes. Just do it. Mince finely.
  • Onion: One entire onion, diced. If onion comes back on you, delete and use dry onion powder to taste.
  • Ground chuck (beef): One pound
  • Ground pork: One pound
  • Mild, sweet Italian sausage: three to four links, casing/skin removed
  • Green (Bell) Pepper: one, diced
  • Zucchini: one, diced large (optional)
  • Portobello Mushrooms: two ginormous fuckers, diced
  • White wine: 1/2 bottle of a good dry you could stand to drink on it’s own, 1/2 bottle for the cook

And, of course, the essential spices, keeping in mind that fresh spice measures are double the dry spice ones (listed). All to taste but all mandatory:

Salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, basil, crushed red pepper (1 tblsp), bay leaves (about 5), olive oil


5 – gallon pot, a big cast iron skillet, big-ass stirring spoon, flat-edged spatula, tasting spoon, glass (for the cook’s wine)

Before cooking anything, prepare the onion, garlic, pepper, zucchnini, olives and portobellos. I have both containers cooking at once and then combine ingredients, so put all meat, half of the garlic and all the onion in the skillet with oil, brown the meat and chop finely. Pour the large tomato ingredient cans in the pot with the green pepper and zucchini. Add the paste, the other half of the garlic, oregano, basil, olives, bay leaf, crushed red pepper, rosemary and some salt as well. Keep well-stirred. Consume a glass of wine yourself as you do this.

As the meat browns, add oregano, rosemary and basil to this mixture as well. When brown, add one cup of wine and reduce, then scoop into the sauce pot. Add more olive oil to the pan and heat, then cook the mushrooms until half-soft. Deglaze the pan with another cup of wine, reduce, and add this mix to the sauce pot. Stir thoroughly. Finish the glass of wine and pour another.

At this point, the sauce merely needs to be heated to a bubbling boil. The additional cans of sauce and paste, and your spice and wine should be used to “tune” the flavor of the sauce to your liking. Add small measures and let the heat distribute the flavor before adding more. Wine imparts a saltiness, so use care with the salt used to reduce the sweetness of the tomato ingredients. This step can require up to two more refills of your glass. Stirring is key here, and if you don’t have tiny red dots all over the stove, you’re fucking this up royally.

Once you master a basic sauce you’ll never buy the jarred shit again. Keep in mind this is crafted to your taste using the ingredients. This can be served over pasta of all types, rice, or baked meats as a garnish sauce… or eaten like stew if you’re a freak like me.


43 Responses to “Cooking With Rants: RantSauce”

  1. I haven’t made sauce from scratch in yeeears.. And you’re right! There MUST be lotso red dots all over the stove.

    My grandmother used to put sugar in to cut acidity… I dunno. I always did it. There was no way in hell I was questioning my Gram’s ways..
    Great post.

  2. Yea you where right, The title led me in a completly diffrent direction
    I’m so glad you cleared that up. As far as the sauce goes bottel it up and sell the hell out of it. I can see it now,
    ” don’t bitch about dinner, Rant it.”

  3. Food Network hosts should put more swears into their shows, it works as proven here.

    I don’t add veg to my sauce but like the sound of it, and the sausage too, more meat can never hurt. I always add worcestershire sauce too and cook it for an hour to concentrate the flavour.

    I need to get a big pan though, I get more than a few spots on the hob

  4. Sounds yummy…and the drinking of the wine is mandatory when cooking, I find.

  5. mkultra76 Says:

    Sounds fantastic. I second kayjai–cooking with wine is not only mandatory, but makes cooking much more fun.

  6. I must say that sounds absolutely frikkin’ delicious . Also a big fan of your quantity system .
    And as an afterthought ,get with the frikkin’ metric system already !#*&^%

  7. I’m sorry, but you know I’m not going to not say it…
    You can’t cook with it, but I’ve heard it does wonders for your skin.

  8. I’m teaching The Godfather in my film class right now. Any time we’re on this film I come home and announce that suddenly, I don’t know why, but man am I in the mood for pasta. And red wine. And a cannoli.

  9. Becca Ne' Says:

    thanks for sharing! I will totaly be utilizing this this weekend! 🙂

  10. Totally reminds me that I used to like to cook. An all day event with wine. Zucchini, black olives, and carrots! And it’s all easy to do. thanks

  11. Holy crap that looks good! I don’t even have a pot big enough to attempt that!

  12. This sounds wonderful! I generally don’t do much cooking but will definitely be giving this a try. I especially like the idea of eating it like a stew. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  13. You are a ranter of many talents.

  14. Yep, you’re so right. It’s all about the sauce, and that store-bought stuff is vastly inferior.

  15. Yeah, that sounds like some great sauce. And salsa if you switch some things around. Both are better when you make them yourself, and both are better with wine. Usually drink red. Actually, usually drink shiraz and put red (cayenne) pepper all over everything.

  16. Rants-sauce? Sounds more like Rants IS sauced…..

  17. If I were going to my old culinary standby of “Chowder,” I’d have to say “rada, rada rada rada” here. But I’ll spare you that inanity.

  18. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    Wow…I’m impressed…you little Chef Boyardee…

  19. I like to grate a little nutmeg on the meat as it cooks and sometimes if I’m feeling really crazy I put a dash of cream cheese in at the end. Cuts the acidity and a Sicilian I know does it so I figured it couldn’t hurt. Excellent post crazypants.

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