Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Spaghetti & Meat Sauce from my Kitchen

I remember one of my first cookbooks was The Betty Crocker Cook Book. I still have it after all these years. It’s bright red cover is still intact except for the the duct tape now holding the spine together lol! My mother never made spaghetti sauce. Her menu was strictly meat and potatoes, with fish on Fridays. The closest she came to making a pasta dish was macaroni and cheese, which by the way I love, so you might want to check back for here that recipe in one of my future posts. Anyway, I digress. 

I remember the first time I tasted homemade tomato sauce, I became hooked. I recall thumbing through my Betty Crocker Cook Book until I found a recipe called, Italian Spaghetti. So off to the grocery store I went to get all the ingredients for my first homemade tomato and meat sauce. Then I noticed that the recipe called for two envelopes of  Italian style spaghetti sauce mix! What! Italian style? This isn’t homemade? I brooded to myself, now what? I wasn’t about to be defeated. I found all the fresh ingredients that recipe called for and I even found the Italian style envelopes Ha! I starred at the packets in my hand. Why I even started to put them in my grocery cart. 

But as I was about to drop them in my cart feeling defeated, I noticed an ingredient list on the back of the package…hum? The ingredient list included oregano, basil, Italian seasoning, among a few others. I thought, why didn't they just give list these spices in the recipe? So, with my cart full with all the ingredients, including all the important spices, I was back on track for making my first tomato and meat sauce. All these many years later, after a few tweaks here and there, I came up with a sauce that has become my family and friends favorite. 

With November upon us, You’re coaxed to your kitchen with calls for comfort foods, cooking spicy savory stews, tomato sauces, casseroles, chicken pot pie and the like. You find yourself craving these delicious mouth watering informal meals and plan for your first pasta dinner of the freezin’ season. Enjoy!

Helena's Spaghetti Sauce

1 to 2 lbs. lean ground beef
1 large chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1 chopped red pepper
4 chopped celery stalks
1 cup sliced mushrooms
2 minced garlic cloves
1 large can of plain tomato sauce
1 small can of tomato paste
1 large can of plum tomatoes {or diced}
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
½ tsp. seasoning salt
½ tsp. paprika
½ tsp. dry mustard
salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef . Stir in onions, peppers,
celery, garlic, mushrooms, cook until just tender.
Stir in spices and bay leaves. Add tomato sauce,
canned tomatoes & paste.
Cover & simmer for 1 to 2 hours.
Serve over your favorite pasta.
Pass the Parmesan cheese and crusty bread!!!

Note: I use to use 2 lbs of lean ground beef, I now use only 1 lb 

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