First let me tell you how much I love spaghetti. When I was pregnant with Baker, I made this at least three times a week, maybe more. Sometimes I would even have it for breakfast. The things we women do when we're pregnant! To change it up, I would cook a different pasta, to a point Brian would say, "Spaghetti again!" Since then, we rarely have it.
So when I made it last Friday night, it was a nice comforting meal to a long hard week for my husband. It just sounded good too. You can always count on good ol'spaghetti!
My old version was a jar of prego sauce, ground beef and pasta. About a year ago, after reading the cookbook, Keepers, I discovered I could use a can of crushed tomatoes and make my own version. This simply tastes fresher! Even my husband agreed, he said, "You really taste the tomatoes." Sounds a bit odd, but you do. I'm sure with fresh tomatoes from the garden. farmer's market or grocery store, it'll taste even more fresh. But I still want to think that making spaghetti is a quick meal. You know what I mean!
Finally, we like more sauce then pasta, so instead of a pound of pasta, I'll cook a fourth of a pound for the family.
SPAGHETTI MEAT SAUCE
Makes 6 servings Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can (28 ounce) crushed tomatoes (preferrably Cento)
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 black pepper
Freshly grated parmesan or white cheddar cheese
Up to a 1 pound of pasta
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente, firm but tender. Stir occassionally, uncovered.
<cooking the meat sauce>
Heat oil in a large dutch oven or large skillet with high sides over medium-high heat.
Add the ground beef, cook for 5 minutes or until no longer pink.
Add the chopped onions cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
Add the minced garlic; and cook for another minute.
<adding the remaining ingredients>
Add the tomatoes, basil, red pepper flakes, sugar, salt and pepper scraping up any brown bits (goodies) from the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon.
Bring the mixture to a boil on high, then reduce the heat to medium.
Cook until you can draw a line through the sauce with your spoon and it doesn't fill in right away, 8 to 10 minutes.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.
<serving your spaghetti>
Take your pasta that's been cooked al dente and add it to the pot.
Toss until every piece of pasta is covered with the sauce.
Sprinkle with cheese.
Add salt to the water to help flavor the pasta, don't be afraid.
Do not add oil during the cooking process or after you've drained the pasta, this prevents the sauce from sticking to the cooked pasta as well. You want the pasta to absorb this wonderful sauce!