After helping a fellow poster on the NWHiker forums this week, I had to ask him if I could post his write-up and photos – and share it with everyone. Enjoy taking a peek at Ski’s homemade spaghetti sauce. If you love a rich flavored red sauce, this is the one for you! (Or is that a Sunday Gravy?)
(I love seeing so many bowls! ~ Sarah)
Ski’s Red Sauce
- 1 pound of ground pork sausage (sweet Italian sausage here)
- 1 big onion, chopped fine (I used a big Walla Walla sweet)
- 4 sticks of celery, chopped fine
- 1 small carrot, grated through the small side of the cheese grater
- 1 head (at least) fresh garlic, minced (I used 2 heads, minced fine)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 2-3 cans diced tomatoes (with or without garlic, fire-roasted tomatoes, oregano, basil, ad nauseam)
- 6 big white button mushrooms, sliced (maybe) (for purposes of dehydrating, I did not use mushrooms, as I don’t really care for the leathery texture of dried mushroom)
- 1½ tsp fennel seed
- 1/3 cup of oregano leaf
- 2 tsp sweet Italian basil
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp dill weed
- 1 tsp marjoram
- 1 tsp rosemary
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper
- pinch dried red chile flakes
Grind all the herbs, salt, and pepper (except for the fennel) into a powder with a mortar and pestle to bring out the flavors.
in a great big pot:
Brown pork sausage and toss in about a half tablespoon of fennel seed. Drain on paper towels.
For purposes of dehydrating, I cooked the hell out of the sausage to reduce the fat content as much as possible:
Heat olive oil, saute onion, garlic, celery, and add the herbs:
Add cooked sausage, carrot, tomatoes. Add twice as much water as what’s in the pot. I added half a bottle of red wine:
Simmer two or three hours minimum, stirring frequently to prevent scorching. I used a wire whisk to break down the tomato as small as possible:
Spread sauce thinly onto parchment-lined drying racks in the dehydrator:
Dried at 135° F for fourteen hours:
Drying reduced the volume by about half. One cup of sauce yielded just over half a cup of dry product resembling bacon bits:
Now it’s time for the field test.
I figured I may as well try it with the equipment I’ll actually have in my pack, so I dug out the Dragonfly and my camping cookware.
I added ½ cup boiling water to the dried sauce and let it reconstitute in my bowl while the pasta was cooking:
When the pasta was cooked, I drained it and added the reconstituted sauce and mixed it in and let it stand for a few minutes:
A little parmesan on top, and it was just like home:
This entire process was just shy of 24 hours. we had spaghetti last night for dinner, and I had enough left to get five one-cup servings, one of which I just had for lunch.
The dehydrator, if you are wondering, is an American Harcest Nesco Snackmaster. Packaged each ½ cup (dry) serving into individual zip-lock sandwich bags, and those four bags into a one-quart zip-lock freezer bag.
Thank you Ski, for letting me share your efforts! PS: Keep an eye out for more dehydrator posts coming this summer……