Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Easy Meat Pasta Sauce

We love good meat sauce at our house, but jarred pasta sauces are often too sweet (and not meaty enough) for my taste. As long as you have a little time or a crockpot, meat sauce is a snap to make at home.

 Easy Meat Sauce
1.5-2 lb ground beef (93% lean is best, but 80% is fine)
2 15 oz. cans tomato sauce
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
2 tsp garlic powder (or 2 cloves of garlic, minced)
1.5 tsp onion (or 1/2 onion, minced)
2 tsp Italian seasoning
1/4 cup red wine
Salt and pepper to taste

Place ground beef in a pot and break up into small pieces. Brown meat over medium heat (saute garlic and onion with the meat if using), then add red wine, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and spices. Mix well, cover, and reduce heat to low. Stir every 10-15 minutes and let simmer for at least 30 minutes. Taste and add salt and pepper. (Start with 1/2 tsp of each if you're not sure where to start.) Simmer up to 3 hours for best flavor. If not serving that night, chill sauce overnight, then remove excess fat that will solidify on the top of the sauce.

Or: put all ingredients into a crockpot, mix well, and cook on low at least 8 hours. Stir and adjust seasonings. Crockpot cooked sauce may need additional spices.

Makes about 7 cups of very meaty sauce. If you prefer less meat, either use 1 lb of meat or an additional can of tomato sauce. If you use more sauce, add an extra 1/2 tsp of all spices. Freezes very well.

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