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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Homemade Spaghetti sauce

I know it is much easier to open a jar of spaghetti sauce, and there are some really good ones on the market.  The store bought sauces are great if you are short on time, but if you have a day at home give this homemade sauce a try.  Part of the key to this sauce is cooking it on low most of the day.
Start out with a couple of onions and peppers.  The red pepper adds a little sweetness to the sauce.  Also, add about 3 pounds of ground beef.  I am making a large pot of sauce so I can freeze some for another day.
Chop your onions, and then add to your pot.  Add some olive oil to the onions and sweat them. Boy was I glad my onion glasses worked today.  No tears for me.
Chop the two peppers.  The colors are just so pretty.  If you want garlic you can add it at this time too.  I never used garlic because my mother never used it.
Add the peppers to the pot.  Stir and see if you need to add a little more olive oil or not.  Let those cook for a little bit to soften.
They look just right!
Add the ground beef to the peppers and onions.  I guess now is a good time to mention for our young cooks that you should always wash your hands after handling raw meat.  This is a good habit to get into as you are starting to cook. Drain any fat off the meat when it is browned.  Remember the turkey baster?  Great way to remove the excess fat from the pot.
Now for part 2.  The tomatoes.  My husband likes Hunts and Publix had them on sale this week buy one get one free.  That is why we are having spaghetti.  I use two large cans of crushed tomatoes.  No big pieces of tomato in my sauce.  Two large cans of tomato sauce.  And three small cans of tomato paste.  Now if you do not want to make a huge pot of sauce you can use smaller cans. But still use the same ratio.

All the cans of tomatoes have been added to the meat, peppers and onions.  Stir well especially to break up the paste.
Now for part 3.  The seasonings.  I use salt and pepper, Italian seasoning, chili powder, parsley flakes and bay leaves.  The bay leaves came from my mother's tree so they are fresh and home grown.  Just like a lot of things I make I just keep shaking until it looks right.  But I do have a trick.  I put the seasonings in and let it cook for several hours and then I take out a small cupful and try it to see if there is anything missing.  Sometimes I have a taste tester but I had to do my own today.  I would start with 1 1/2 teaspoons of the seasonings and about 3 bay leaves.  Do not eat the bay leaves! That is if you are making a big pot like mine.  I probably put close to a tablespoonful of the seasonings.  It is easier to add than to take away.
Seasonings added.
My taste test this afternoon.  I ended up adding a little more seasonings after I tried it.
When you are ready to eat cook your pasta according to the package directions. I like to use angel hair pasta.  It is a nice thin pasta.
The finished product.  Add some parmesan cheese on top and pair with the cheese muffins and you have a great meal.
Plus I have two big bowls for the freezer for another day.  Lasagna night be in our future.
I hope you enjoy your dinner and find that the homemade sauce is worth the effort.


  1. This spaghetti sauce looks great. I might have to try it. Do you ever add wine?

    1. No I have never tried that but you could give it a try. I have seen them do that after browning the onions and peppers to deglaze the pot. Not sure how that would work here unless you used a different pot for that step.