February 16, 2012

A Favorite Recipe …

I love Italian food.  It might just be my favorite kind of food. Except for Thai and Chinese and Chocolate and German. Never mind, I just like food.

When I’m in the mood for Italian at home I’ve got an arsenal of four or five recipes I can crank out almost from memory including a classic parmesan alfredo {with a delicious hint of nutmeg} , a red pepper and Italian sausage pasta {SIL Mindy we will forever owe you} and my mom’s traditional “meat sauce for pasta”.

If you currently consider spaghetti to be noodles topped with sauce poured from a jar, I challenge you to put down the Prego and make this sauce.  It is so easy and delicious. You will never go back to jar sauce again.

Why is it so good?  Maybe it’s the oregano. Or the garlic. I don’t know. But I love it. And my kids lick their plates clean.

Try it now. Thank me later.

Victoria’s Meat Sauce for Pasta

2T extra virgin olive oil

1 lb ground beef

I medium onion, finely chopped

1 clove minced garlic

1 (14oz.) can whole tomatoes

1 (12oz.) can tomato puree

1/2 can water

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp oregano

1 tsp salt

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

1 bay leaf, crumbled

Brown ground beef, garlic and onion in pan over medium heat.  Spoon off any excess fat. Pulse whole tomatoes (with liquid) in food processor or blender to a semi-chunky texture. Add tomatoes, puree and water to beef. Add dry ingredients and stir to combine. Heat to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover sauce and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes until it thickens, stirring occasionally. Add more water if needed.

Serve over any type of pasta noodle. We prefer penne or spaghetti.


Apis Melliflora said...

You've never given me this recipe before...but, strangely enough, it's almost identical to the one I've been using for years! Just a couple of differences.

kkerr said...

Oh man! I am so excited to try this. I have been on the search for a good homemade sauce. Thank you!

Lori said...

I LOVE RAGU!!!! LOL The garden combination or mushroom....however, I'll be brave and try this...we eat a lot of spaghetti! Thanks...I THINK!

Erin said...

When you say a 1/2 can of water, are you referring to the 14oz or 12oz? The numbers nerd in me is very concerned about this :)

I loved your weeks of LOVE posts...especailly the letter from your grandmother. I originally thought "if only life was that simple" then realized when you are in love, life should be about the simple things.

Happy long weekend!

christy said...

Sounds yummy. I'll have to try it. Feel free to list the other recipes you mentioned as well. Hint, hint.

The Dragonfly said...

I usually use the tomato puree can for my "1/2 can water". Hope this helps!

TracyS. said...

Since I have at least one kid who will not eat spaghetti, I will have to give this a try to see if it will convince him.

Tracie said...

YAHOO! More of your recipes! Keep them coming! I've been looking for a good basic meat sauce lately - tired of ones I've tried. Happy to give it a go and glad it's got stuff we usually have on hand. So add the other recipes and I'll love ya forever! ;) LOVED your Valentines posts and soooo know the steroid saga. Sorry you have to go through it but I guarantee you'll kinda miss its manic productivity now and then.

Erin said...

Did you know that this recipe makes 12 1/2 cup servings that can be frozen perfectly in a muffin tin? This family friendly recipe is great for this single gal who doesn't want to put much effort into dinner for one. Now all I have to do is pull a frozen serving out of the freezer in the morning and in the evening toss with pasta. Love it!