Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick Spaghetti Sauce

This is a tried and true favorite. It’s from the first recipe I learned to cook when I was ten, to have dinner ready when mom came home from work. We used to use my favorite Spice Islands Spaghetti Sauce Seasoning. With the advent of Hilltop Herbs, I created a similar spaghetti sauce seasoning. For general use, a basic Italian seasoning works fine. Use fresh herbs, when available.

I have made some changes to the original recipe over the years, and this is essentially what my children had for dinner while growing up. For a change, I sometimes add diced green pepper or sliced black olives. This recipe is tasty, hearty and simple.

Serves 8-10

1 pound lean ground beef (or venison or pork)
1 medium onion, diced (1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 (6 ounce) can tomato paste
1 (10.5 ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (or purée or sauce)
1 (4 ounce) can mushroom stems and pieces, drained
½ cup coffee or 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
½ cup robust red wine, optional (Chianti, cabernet, Beaujolais)
water as needed

Heat 4 ½ quart Dutch oven, until hot and dry. Remove from heat and lightly coat with vegetable oil spray. Return to very low heat while dicing onion and gathering ingredients.

Sauté meat, onion, garlic and Italian seasoning, over medium high heat, while stirring and breaking up meat with large spoon.

Stir in tomato paste. Stir in soup. Stir in rest of ingredients, adding water as needed for consistency. Heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Turn heat to simmer (very low), stirring occasionally. Cover to prevent splatters, but leave vented. Simmer for 10 to 30 minutes or until pasta is done.

Serve over cooked pasta. Sprinkle with grated parmesan or romano. Serve with garlic toast and salad or steamed broccoli.

Adapted from: Cooking Magic, The Italian Cookbook, Quick Italian Tomato Sauce (Salsa di Pomodoro), pg. 49; Culinary Arts Institute, Chicago, IL; 1956

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