Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

Whenever my brother, Lucas, comes to town I end up making spaghetti. It is one of his favorites. He likes it with just a jar of Prego and some ground beef in there (I think this is from his previous 4 years at college). However, I refuse to eat that. SO, I make it from scratch and he likes it just the same…if not more. Each batch is a little different and you can throw in whatever you have in your fridge. I generally just make it with onions, carrots, basil, tomatoes, garlic. This recipe makes a huge amount of sauce, but that way there is tons left over for lunches that week.

Ingredients (makes about 6 cups of sauce)

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 – 3 carrots, peeled
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small yellow squash
  • 20 basil leaves
  • 48 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (you can also just use four 14 oz. cans in place of the 48 oz. can)
  • 14 oz. can of tomato paste
  • ½ cup water
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, garlic powder, dried oregano
  • Parmesan cheese, for garnish
  • Spaghetti noodles
  • A hand immersion blender, regular blender, or Cuisinart

Directions

Prep your ingredients: mince the garlic, chop up the onion into inch sized slices, cut the carrots into ¼ inch rounds, cut the squash into ¼ inch slices and then quarter each slice. Also, chiffonade the basil (stack the basil leaves on top of each other, roll up, and slice into really thin slices).

In a large sauté pan add a few rounds of the pan of olive oil. Over medium heat, add the onions and carrots to that and let them sweat and turn translucent. Then add the canned tomatoes and squash. Let cook for about 30 minutes, covered (if you do not have a top for the sauté pan then cover with aluminum foil). Stir occasionally.

Add the garlic and water after about 30 minutes. Stir to combine. Add about 2 tablespoons of salt to the sauce and about 2 tablespoons of ground pepper. Add about 1 tablespoon of garlic powder and 1 teaspoon of oregano to the sauce. Stir around. Use your hand immersion blender to puree the mixture so that it is only slightly chunky. Add the basil and stir. Let the sauce continue to cook for 20 more minutes or so. Continue to stir occasionally, and if the sauce gets too thick then add a little more water and stir.

Taste the sauce. It probably needs more salt or garlic powder. Add whatever you think it needs. Serve over the spaghetti and top with freshly grated parmesan.

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