Getting Saucy.

What better way to celebrate National Spaghetti Day than to introduce to you all a recipe for some homemade pasta sauce? I am getting tired of the same old watered down, store-bought, flavorless pasta sauces. Making your own homemade sauce is the most simple thing to do and it’s not very time-consuming at all. I have to admit, when I did pull this recipe, I didn’t realize that the sauce DOES need to simmer for about 2 hours, but it turned out fine – my husband and I weren’t quite hungry at the time I was making the sauce, and the kids wanted something else besides spaghetti, so we fed them and patiently waited for our sauce to simmer. And it was WELL. WORTH. THE. WAIT!

The following recipe was taken from AllRecipes.com and I have adapted it just a bit. I used Italian sausage instead of using ground beef. I figure, go big or go home. Spice up your life a little bit! And I’d like to introduce to you Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste. I used this tomato paste with the recipe below.

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This tomato paste comes four different ways: triple concentrated, seasoned with vegetables, seaonsed with basil and spicy hot. I also used Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes for my chopped tomatoes required for the recipe. So without further delay, I will provide the following recipe with my changes!

Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 pound Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons dried minced onion
  • 2 1/2 cups Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes
  • 1 1/3 cans (6 ounces) Oro Di Parma Tomato Paste (these tubes are 7.02 ounces, it’s triple concentrated, so I used about 4 ounces, just over half a tube)
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) can sliced mushrooms (I actually used a full 8 ounce can!)

Directions:

  1. Brown Italian sausage over medium heat. Drain off fat.
  2. In a large pot, combine Italian sausage, salt, sugar, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion flakes, chopped tomatoes, tomato paste and mushrooms. Simmer at a low heat setting for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cook pasta accordingly to package directions. Drain. Serve sauce over spaghetti.
  4. Enjoy and Happy National spaghetti Day!

 

As with all sauces, at least when it comes to pasta dishes, the longer it sits, the better it tastes. I made this the other night and I had leftovers and the sauce was even better the next day! Use this sauce for making lasagna as well! And as with all sauces, it will take time to tweak it and make it your own. While this tomato sauce came out excellent, there are a few things I’d maybe change-up for next time. I might add some fresh chopped garlic, more fresh items and what not, but delicious!

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And the Winner *IS*…

Well… the day has finally arrived! It is the official Gourmet International Chili Cookoff Day! Who’s chili will win the top prizes? You’re just going to have to stay here, continue reading, maybe grab yourself a bowl of chili and read on!

The ONLY rule for today’s Chili Cookoff was this: All chefs and chefettes HAD to use Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes. Contestants were given three cans and could use as many of the three cans that their recipe required! Today’s prizes range from gift cards to a t-shirt! Some recipes have your basic ground beef while another recipe has venison! Some chili was spicy and others sweet, some with potatoes and some made with chicken!

We have to say… when we first started this idea of the chili cookoff, we only had maybe 5 or 6 people signing up. We realized the word didn’t get out to everyone and before you know it we had a total of 17 people with chili entries! When I arrived today I got word we were up to 18 total entries! That’s a lot of chili! As you can see from the photos from today, there was enough food to go around and then some! Not only did we have tons of chili to taste test, but we also had some sweet treats to munch on after all the hard taste testing work!

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Speaking of desserts, our own Linda had made two apple pies. As you can see from the photos below, they were totally gone by the end of the lunch bunch rush!

It was really great to see all the employees together hanging out and tasting the chili! It was really fun to listen to everyone talk about which chili was their favorite and give others pointers on which crock pots they should try next! I think we all kept mumbling, “Oh my gosh, there are 18 different pots of chili!” I know I did! I kept saying, “There’s SOOOO much chili!!” Chili for days!

So after much taste testing and hemming and hawing… ballots were cast and we have some winners!

 

We are proud to announce our winners! Our *First Place winner is Marcos* and our *Second Place winner is Maureen*! Congratulations to you both! They each received gift cards – Marcos a gift card to Ucello’s Restaurant, Maureen a gift card to Craig’s Cruisers! Congratulations to you both! Enjoy! There was a third place winner… that would be Yours Truly, Your Gourmet Nibbler! I got the t-shirt!

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We want to say THANK YOU to all our Chefs and Chefettes in the actual making of the chili and also a big THANK YOU to everyone who helped pull this event together! What a fun way to spend a rainy October day at Gourmet International! Some of us may be expanding at the waist line after today’s event, but what a great afternoon to spend with each other! Nibble, Nibble!

Time for an Employee Chili Cookoff!

We are excited to tell you that we are doing an employee chili cookoff! We’ve already started collecting names of our chili chefs and the contest will take place on Tuesday, October 24! We will have first, second and third place winners that will be tallied by secret ballot! To inspire our chefs, we are using Oro Di Parma tomato products. Each employee that participates in the chili cookoff will receive three cans of Oro Di Parma Chopped Tomatoes . We realize that everyone’s recipes are different and may not require that much tomato in their chili, but we have our staff covered!

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We can’t wait to try to the different chilis that the staff are cooking up! From beef to venison, there will be quite the choosing for judges to try! At this time, it appears that we have at least 10 chili chefs signed up for this fun occasion! Time to bring the team together and taste some chili!

Who’s chili will reign supreme!? We don’t know, and you’ll have to find out next week as we bring you along our Chili Cookoff ride!