Spaghetti with my father’s thick, “meaty” tomato sauce.
55 minutes (total time from start to finish)
20 minutes (simmer time)
Mince the garlic or prepare it for pressing.
Drain the mushrooms and the olives of their juices.
Start the water for the spaghetti.
Combine the “beef” crumbles and pasta sauce over medium heat. Stir occasionally until the sauce is either simmering or spits at you when you stir it.
Stir deeply and often while adding the tomato paste, agave, mushrooms, olives, garlic, malt vinegar, and spices (mustard, cinnamon, nutmeg, oregano, black pepper, ginger, and spice of choice). Feel free to reach blindly for the spice rack to choose the last spice - I've had success with flavors as broad-ranging as thyme, smoked paprika, cumin, garam masala, and basil.
Test the sauce and adjust the flavor to taste - add agave to make it sweeter, black pepper to make it spicier, vinegar it make it zingier. Once you have the flavor mix you want, add the cooking alcohol.
Keep the sauce on medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the alcohol evaporates (as indicated by it ceasing to taste alcoholic) - approximately 15-20 minutes.
While the sauce is sobering up, cook the spaghetti according to the instructions on the box.