Friday, May 25, 2012

Spaghetti Sauce in 20 Minutes - Tastes Like You Slaved All Day

While I love making spaghetti sauce from scratch, I usually end up using what I canned or froze well before the next season's tomatoes are ready.  Here's my trick for putting my personal twist on store-bought spaghetti sauce.  You can use this sauce for spaghetti or any other kind of pasta dish.

Start with about a pound of ground meat - use what you like.  I've used sausage, beef, turkey, venison, chicken...  Brown your meat (be sure to season with salt and pepper.  Add about 1/4 cup of diced onion if you like but its not necessary.  Drain grease if needed.  Add a jar of your favorite store-bought spaghetti sauce (its best if you use a chunky style), a 15 oz. can of diced tomatoes with the liquid, and about a 1/4 cup of water.  Bring up to a boil.

Now add your herbs.  I use fresh when I can but dried is fine too.  Add a variety of herbs like thyme, oregano, chives, sage, parsley...  This is part of what gives it that fresh-from-the-garden taste rather than the flat taste store-bought tends to have.  Add pepper to your taste.  You can add salt if you want but I tend to stay away from it - most store sauces and canned goods have plenty of salt on their own.  

Cover and let simmer for about 10-15 minutes while you cook your pasta.  If it looks too thick, add a little more water.  If it looks too watery, simmer with the lid off.  Stir occasionally.  Cook your pasta slightly al dente so it will soak up your sauce.  This makes a nice meaty sauce.

Budget Saver Tips:  Plan to make this one night, then have chili the next night.  Take your leftover sauce, add 1/2 cup diced peppers, 1 teaspoon Red Hot sauce, 1 can chili starter beans, chili powder, another 15 oz. can of diced tomato with liquid, and a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce.  You can add more beans if you like a lot of beans.  Bring up to a boil then cover and simmer on low for about 15 minutes.  Serve topped with shredded cheese and sour cream.  Still have leftovers?  On night three, reheat your chili and serve over hot dogs or baked potatoes!  Freezes well at any stage too!


Jenny said...

Spaghetti sounds so good right now...I might have to try this!

Stopping by from the Networking Blog Hop...I am your newest follower! I would love if you would check out my blog and if you like what you see please follow back :)
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Unknown said...

Thanks for the follow Jenny! I'm following you now too! Nice to meet you. :)

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