Sunday, January 01, 2012

Ragu & you, anyhoo!

For New Year's Eve dinner, Mac requested lasagna ("The problem with lasagna is, there is never enough." Mac Smith, American male.) Since I was off and it was a sort of holiday dinner, I figured I'd go the extra mile and make my sauce ala Pioneer Woman, recipe HERE.

I added an extra 28 ounce can of tomatoes and additional garlic, salt and basil as well because it didn't look like an adequate amount plus, I'm a lazy cook who does not pre-boil my pasta so I needed plenty of sauce to re-hydrate the lasagna.


I usually use Ragu traditional sauce. Yes, I know in the present day of no preservatives (which I completely agree with), more and more people are making their own basic tomato sauce. And no, I had never done so previous to this particular event. And yes, I also realize that canned tomatoes and tomato paste are one step away from truly homemade tomato sauce. And no, I don't care ;)


I used my brand spanking new food processor (thank you mom) and happily set about making my sauce mid-morning so it could simmer to deliciousness all afternoon. It did not take long at all to make the sauce, as promised by Food Network and all the homemakers in blogland. It did create more mess with extra cans and food processor parts now needing to be cleaned but still, not a big undertaking. Having completed the sauce and stirred it into the meat mixture and allowing it to simmer, I discovered the following.

1. It tasted fresher than the Ragu but surprisingly, not that much.

2. It took about ten minutes to mix it together in the food processor.

3. I added a half pound of meat more than PW.

4. There are only two differences in the ingredients between the homemade and Ragu.

A. Ragu contains soybean oil, homemade used only the oil remaining after draining the meat.

B. Ragu contains sugar, none added to homemade.

In the interest of keeping it real, I have to say that it's enjoyable and satisfying to make the sauce from scratch. However and ANYHOO, given the similarity in the ingredients and lack of preservatives in the Ragu; I hereby proclaim the use of sauce from a jar is not a felony.

The Mr. found no discernible difference in the two. Mac said he liked the fresher better and the herbs were more distinct.

So there.


Pat said...

You would have to can several batches of tomato sauce to avoid all that mess, which I don't believe you have time for. I believe Margie said she used what ever brand sauce was on kind of girl.
So, any left overs?

Debra said...

Hey, whatever works, especially as we get older--that's what I say. :)

Happy new year to you, Sara! Your last comment at my blog blessed my socks off--thanks so much. I hope you'll enjoy the book--it always stays with me for days and has forever affected the way I think about dying and Heaven, etc..

Thank-you for being you and do enjoy 2012! Hugs, Debra

Margie said...

I do use whatever is on sale... which is often Hunts from a can, sometimes (gasp!) Kroger brand... whatever, once you add all the others stuffs that's in there, I can't tell the difference.

There should have been leftovers, it makes two pans... or maybe i double it, I can't remember, but i always make two one for eatin' and one for freezin'!

Sara said...

I added a half pound of meat and an extra 28 ounce can of tomato. Made a large 3 layer pan, no left overs. Welcome to my world!