All around the world people have those dishes that they make for dinner that instantly softens their soul. It is the kind of food that feels like home or reminds you of growing up. It sticks to your sides and earns the name ‘feel good food’. And everyone has those foods and recipes cherished in the back of their minds.
One such recipe for me is my Oma’s spaghetti sauce. My Oma (which means grandma in German) is famous for this spaghetti sauce. Every year when my family and I travel back to Wisconsin for Christmas we look forward to having this meal with her. My mom toiled for years to get it to match my Oma’s but to this day is not convinced it is the same (even though I find it identical). It is so warm and soothing. It heats you up and can comfort me even after the worst days at work. It really is feel good food. Just sauteing the bacon and onion for this recipe made my house smell just like my Oma’s on those days.
So one may wonder, your Oma/Grandma is German, wouldn’t she be Italian to make such good spaghetti sauce? Well I say that even though she isn’t Italian, she knows the right concept- using simple ingredients. It is a very simple sauce that really allows the tomatoes to sing. Even if she isn’t Italian, this is still by far the pasta sauce that I crave when I think of spaghetti.
And the simplicity of the recipe just makes it even better. It is made of just a few simple ingredients. The hardest part of this recipe is just smelling the cooking bacon and resisting the urge to eat any of it!
I starting by sauteing the bacon
Then once the bacon is close to done, I add in the onion.
Then I added in the tomato sauce, scraping the bottom of my pot with a spoon to pick up all of those browned on bits. Also, I prefer to use the Contadina brand tomato sauce. I have tried a few others but I find that it tastes most like my Oma’s sauce when I use this.
Then I got to sit back and let the stove do the rest.
One last note: Are your tomatoes bitter? Add sugar. It sounds strange but sugar takes away the bitterness that some canned/jarred tomatoes can have.
Prep time 30 minutes, Serves 6
- 4 15 oz cans Contadina tomato sauce
- 3 to 4 strips frozen bacon
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup well chopped parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano leaves
- Pinch brown sugar
- Place frozen bacon in microwave and defrost for about 45 seconds so that the bacon is still frozen but can be cut through. Remove bacon and place on a cutting board. With a sharp knife cut bacon into small pieces.
- Place bacon in a soup pot set on medium-low heat. Saute bacon until 3/4 done. Add in chopped onion and cook until bacon is done and onion is soft. Remove bacon and onion and drain any excess fat. Return mixture to pan.
- Pour one can of tomato sauce into the pan. Scrape off burnt on bits at the bottom of the sauce with a spoon so that it is incorporated into the sauce. Pour in remaining 3 cans of sauce.
- Add oregano, parsley and pinch of sugar.
- Allow to slowly simmer for an hour before serving.
- (If desired, add in meatballs or ground meat into the sauce half way through the simmering process).