Monday, January 31, 2011

One of the most comforting foods- Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

One of my most favorite meals is spaghetti and meat sauce. It's one of my favorite winter time meals because it's so hearty and can stand alone. Nothing beats a nice big bowl of pasta and meat sauce, coupled with some good quality crusty bread and a glass of red wine.
However, if it's done badly, i.e. too watery or not meaty enough, it's just plain bad. There is nothing worse than a puddle of watery tomato water under a pile of pasta. It's just gross. That's why I really don't like bottled sauces.
Over the years I've worked on my recipe and I've gotten it to the point that when I make it, my children get so excited for dinner, and my husband absolutely loves it.

It's super simple, but there are a few tricks to make sure it comes out just right. And there's no measuring.

1lb lean ground beef
2 cans plain tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 can petite diced tomatoes
1/2 can water
1 green pepper chopped
1 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic (or garlic powder)
chopped fresh mushrooms or canned mushrooms (optional)
2 bay leaves
dried basil
dried oregano
dried thyme
1-2 Tbsp sugar

Brown beef in pot on stove
Meanwhile, chopped green pepper, onion, and garlic and set aside.
When meat is browned, drain the fat. I use a baster to do this. Usually I drain and rinse the beef, but I have found that just taking some of the fat out and not rinsing makes for a more meaty flavor.

Add veggies and let cook for 2-3 minutes.
Add 2 cans of tomato sauce, 1/2 cans of water, diced tomatoes, tomato paste. Stir well.
Add the spices- basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, salt, pepper, and finally sugar. Sugar is the key as it cuts the acid.

Stir well, and let simmer on low on the stove for 3-4 hours, stirring occasionally.

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