Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

Friday, February 5, 2010

Ahhh, spaghetti. It's one of the great "staples" in life, isn't it?

We try to limit our beef consumption, so we went a long time without making meat sauce. Like, a really long time. But then, this past fall, we resurrected it one Friday night and found ourselves wondering, How did we live without this for so long?

Needless to say, we've made it several times since. Spaghetti and meat sauce seems particularly perfect for Friday nights, so it was no surprise that we found ourselves making it tonight.

Although it is certainly not made from scratch, this is different from your typical "throw a jar of sauce and a pound of ground beef together" type of meat sauce. Instead, the flavors are completely versatile based on what types of spices and ingredients you decide to throw in. (For instance, we like our sauce to be a bit spicy, so we throw in a lot of red pepper flakes!)

So here, I'll tell you what I do--but keep in mind that you can add or subtract whatever ingredients you like. Also, I have to warn you... I don't do measurements with this. I just add a lot of spices, stir, taste, add more, stir, taste, and so on. But I will say that because the sauce starts off unflavored, you do have to add more spices than you might think you would. Go big on spices, because it means big flavor!

Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

- 1 to 1 & 1/2 lbs. spaghetti
- 1 lb. lean ground beef
- olive oil
- 1 small to medium onion, diced
- 24-32 oz. plain tomato sauce (canned) - We use Hunt's "No Salt Added"
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- an assortment of dried spices, such as: oregano, basil, parsley, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, black pepper, and crushed red pepper flakes
- pinch or two of sugar
- grated parmesan cheese for topping

1. In the bottom of a large saute pan, drizzle olive oil. Once hot, add ground beef and begin to brown. Add diced onion and continue until beef is browned completely. Drain.

2. Begin to boil water for pasta.

3. Return pan to heat. Add garlic, tomato sauce, spices and sugar. Let simmer over low heat for at least 20 minutes (or up to several hours). Add more spices as necessary (to taste).

4. Cook pasta according to package directions. Serve immediately, covering with meat sauce. Top with grated parmesan cheese.


Jessica,  February 8, 2010 at 3:07 PM  

We make something very similar, but we also add just a little red wine. It seriously makes all the difference!

Krystie March 21, 2010 at 6:45 PM  

My grandmas secret? chili powder. Lots of it. it give it a tangyness to it. But otherwise we do ours pretty much the same as you. If you need to stay away from ground beef, try ground turkey.

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