Noticed your post from a few days ago. I also am learning how to make a better spaghetti sauce. I took my mom's recipe, tweaked it a little, and am still tweaking it.
Since the entire community is heavy with fresh tomatoes, I've been making a lot of sauce in the past week and a half. Tomorrow I make my third batch. Here is the recipe that I've been following, (though each time I've changed it up a bit, like tomorrow I intend to toast and crush 1 to 2 tsp fennel).
8 plus tomato's blanched and skinned; 1/2-3/4 de-seeded and all chopped and set aside.
Olive oil, 1/2 lb turkey and package of hot Italian sausage (tomorrow I go sausage-less, 1 lb of turkey and add toasted fennel)
No tomato paste.
Four chopped onions and
1 or 2 chopped bell pepper.
4 bay leaves.
2 chopped cloves of garlic
Some fresh basil leaves, some oregano and less salt.
After browning the meat thoroughly cooking onions and bell pepper; leave in the grease and add:
@ 16 oz canned tomato sauce
freshly chopped tomato's and juice
@ 16 oz canned drained diced tomato
Bring to a boil, than simmer and add:
More fresh basil (and I'll probably add the crushed and toasted fennel here)
2 chopped cloves of garlic (4 total)
2 large stalks of celery (flavoring only, not for consumption. Can be cut in half for convenience).
touch of sugar
Taste and texture:
Needs to reduce and thicken (to taste) over simmering heat.
Salt/Sugar/Oregano. Add if needed. Less is more.
@ 1/2 hour or less prior to being properly reduced, add:
Lightly sauteed sliced mushrooms in a clove of garlic. (do not wash mushrooms; use damp towel and cook in small bit of olive oil)
Not sure how much the recipe makes. I think it's somewhere around 6-8 quarts.
I've been pleased with this recipe so far. Had friends from out of town come and stay with my parents locally, and they enjoyed the sauce very much. I am looking forward to continuing to tweak this recipe; especially as I become more familiar with how fennel (toasted or not) impact's the flavor's.