Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Top of Spaghetti...

all covered with cheese...

Nothing says spaghetti like a crisp fall day- imagine the aroma of stewed tomatoes with a hint of Italian spices lingering in the house. 

I had a craving for this comfort food and refused to settle for store bought sauce or a microwaveable inspired dish at a restaurant. 
On a whim, I decided to run to the grocery store to grab the essentials. 

Since the sauce needs a good hour to simmer and I'm impatient, I used a dutch oven to speed up the cooking process. 

For the health conscious, I used ground turkey and substituted regular spaghetti noodles with a whole wheat option.


Now all you need is a glass of red wine to complete the meal!


1 lb of ground beef or turkey
2 (6oz) cans of tomato paste
1 (28oz) can of crushed tomatoes
1 1/2 cups of water
2 tbsp. sugar, to taste
2 tbsp. dried oregano, to taste
2 tbsp. dried basil, to taste
2 tbsp. dried parsley flakes, to taste
salt and pepper to taste
4 cloves of garlic, minced or garlic powder to taste
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped or onion powder (optional)
package of mushrooms, cleaned and sliced (optional)
1 lb of pasta of choice
parmesan cheese (optional)
fresh parsley (optional)

In a large skillet over medium high heat add the ground meat and cook until brown. Drain if using beef, then set aside.
Heat 1 tbsp. of olive oil in a large skillet on high heat. Add onions if using and saute 2 minutes before adding the mushrooms and garlic if using. Cook for another 2 minutes.
Combine meat, onions, and mushrooms in a large pot. Add the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, water, and seasonings. Stir together. Bring to a boil on medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for at least 1 hour, covered. 
(For a more liquid-y based sauce, add more water. For a thicker based sauce add less water)
Boil a pot of salted water 30 minutes before serving. Cook pasta 8-10 minutes for al dente.
Top with parsley and shaved parmesan cheese before serving (optional).