Doesn’t this pasta look LONELY???? My heart goes out to lonely pasta because #1 GOOD, well made pasta is one of my favorite things to eat, and #2 homemade sauce is SO delicious and SO easy to make! The one jarred pasta I always keep on hand is this…
…because it is delicious and tastes of fresh basil and more like fresh tomatoes than any jarred pasta I have ever had, and sometimes a hardworking mommy just needs to throw together a meal of pasta, jarred sauce and a salad. Also, it is super easy to make last-minute homemade pizza if you have a jar of this, split into ziplock snack baggies and stashed in the freezer with one of your own delicious homemade pizza kits. More on that later… in any case, in my opinion, THIS is the only acceptable jarred pasta sauce. But then again I am a self-proclaimed foodie. Moving on…
The ingredients you will need to make my Hearty Homemade Meatsauce are:
1-2 lbs 90/10 (or leaner) ground beef
2 TBSP. Olive Oil
1 large onion diced into desirable size
4 lg. cloves of garlic, minced
1 28-oz. can Tuttorosso Diced tomatoes (not too pricey but better quality than el cheapo.) Believe me, totally worth the extra cents!
1 28-oz. can Tuttorosso Crushed Tomatoes with basil
1 beef bullion cube
1 tsp. onion powder
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. dried basil (crush by rolling between your palms while adding to the pot)
1/4 tsp dried oregano (crush the same as basil)
1/2 tsp. black pepper
salt to taste
*Fresh chopped basil (optional…only add it at the VERY end of cooking after you shut the heat off. If fresh basil gets cooked it loses its fresh flavor)
*2 large or 3 medium fresh diced tomatoes (also optional…. add at the very end of cooking after heat is off. Residual heat will cook them JUST enough and you will get a nice “garden fresh” flavor added to your sauce. DO not do this step if you have a tomato-hater because they WILL bite into tomato. If you love fresh tomato and everyone else does not, chop up one small tomato and add it to your own dish of pasta and sauce! Why should you miss out on deliciousness?)
1) Drizzle olive oil in large saucepan. Add ground beef and brown over medium-high heat till almost completely cooked.
2) Lower heat to medium. Add onions and garlic to meat. Stir and cook all together until onions are soft and see-through(ish). (If you get some light “crustiness” at the bottom of the pan, jump for joy because in a few moments you will add the tomatoes and it will all scrape off and add a nice rich beefiness to your sauce. If your “crustiness” turns black and burns, fall onto the floor in a crumpled heap and cry. Cleaning burned pans is one of the tortures in hell.)
3) Sprinkle herbs, powders, pepper and at least 2 teaspoons of salt over meat mixture and stir well.
4) Add (slowly), both cans of tomatoes and the bullion cube. Stir well and if you have managed to create and accumulate any “crustiness” at the bottom of the pot, scrape up all that yumminess.
5) Put a lid on your pot and set the heat to low. Let sauce lightly simmer for 30 minutes, tasting and stirring every 10 minutes. The 2nd 10-minutes, taste first then add 1/2 tsp. salt if you think it needs it. At the end of the 30 minutes turn off the heat, stir, taste and add another 1/2 tsp salt or pepper if you would like it better with more. If you want to add more than 1/2 tsp. to get it how you like it, do so. At this point, you make it yours. 🙂
6) If at this point you are using either or both of the fresh chopped basil and/or the fresh diced tomatoes, add these now. Cover with the lid of the pot and let set while you make the pasta you will smother it over. If at this point you choose to let it cool to almost room temp so you can put it in a container for late in the day/week, or put it in the freezer because you ROCK at life and have planned ahead for a late meal, THIS would be a perfect time to do so!
***A couple of notes and ideas on how we use this sauce…
~Freeze in ziplock snack (for children) or sandwich (for adults) bags for a single serving of sauce to put in the freezer for lunches, or single serve dinners for a teenager or spouse to make dinner for themselves. But PLEASE do not freeze it already mixed with pasta. In my humble opinion, frozen pasta is nasty and mushy and really how hard is it to cook some pasta?
~Cook elbow pasta and mix it all together to make delicious american-style goulash!
~Snack-sized ziplock bags of this sauce in the freezer make DELICIOUS homemade pizza! Just top with shredded mozzarella, bake the pizza and enjoy!
~ Make this sauce and replace the beef with ground italian sausage for variety!
~Keep a batch of this meatsauce in the freezer to make assembling homemade lasagna THAT much quicker and easier!
~Eat it with a spoon as “Italian Chili” with some crusty italian bread!
So there ya’ go! I hope anyone who reads this will give it a go and get as addicted to it as my family is. Pretty sure you will never go back to Ragu or Prego. If you have questions or need help troubleshooting, feel free to ask, and please let me know how your own adventure with it turns out!
Peace and tasty homemade dishes to your home….