Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A simple meat sauce

Spaghetti Meat Sauce
Farm Journal’s Country Cookbook 1959,1972

1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ c. salad oil
1 lb. ground beef
2 ½ c. tomatoes or 1 (1-lb.) can I used a 28-ounce can or organic tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 c. water
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf

Sauté onion and garlic in hot oil. Add meat and cook until browned. Add remaining ingredients; simmer slowly about 1 hour.

Makes 6 servings

I know, this is rather simple. But I wanted to show everyone that sometimes simple works. I wanted a recipe that captured the basic essence of a good meat sauce. I wanted something that wasn't over-adorned. Okay, I just didn't want to make another trip to the grocery store and I had everything to make this.

This was simple and good, what more can I say? Not much different from what I might have freestyled in my pre-blogging days. I probably would have thrown in more spices but I didn't really miss them. I thought this had a nice clean flavor, with a nice sweetness from the tomatoes but not overly sweet like some jarred pasta sauces. I put it over some Dreamfields linguine and topped it with some freshly grated Parmesan.

The Farm Journal has not disappointed me yet. I need to find more of their cookbooks for my collection.

So last night was recipe planning night and I didn't get very far but I realized my problem is that I focus too much on main courses. I'll probably be repeating a lot of old recipes next week for the main course and posting about other things. This week I made Ham Steak with Spicy Mustard Sauce again, not because it knocked my socks off the first time but because I had everything to make it and it was pretty good.

Question of the Day: What recipe/product do you use as your basic pasta sauce?


Anonymous said...

I use some flavor of Ragu and then add things. This week I added grilled veggies that were left over from my grilled focaccia and of course meat. I will however have to try this recipe out as I have wanted to make my own pasta sauce.

Wanda said...

We have spaghetti fairly often. My basic sauce is browned hamburger meat, a large can of tomato sauce, garlic powder and oregano. To that I may add any combination of mushrooms, black olives and/or sauteed onions. I have added chopped celery on occassion. Sometimes I use 'real' garlic instead of powdered.

A few years back we had a priest who liked to give small dinner parties. He made the best spaghetti sauce I ever tasted. His family business was a dried fruit business, and he said he chopped a dried prune or two and cooked that in his sauce. Someone else told me that he had told them that his base for spaghetti sauce was Paul Newman's jarred sauce. I am not sure what else he added.

Anonymous said...

I usually have a few cans/jars of sauce in the pantry. I buy them when they are featured at a great price. Usually Hunt, DelMonte, Ragu, Prego. I guess I'm not much of a gourmand when it comes to spaghetti sauce. But I'd like to try this and also the Paul Newman base with the prunes.


Unknown said...

I don't usually eat spaghetti, but if I make eggplant parmesan I use Ragu but use Prego for Pizza! My favorite for spaghetti, thought, is a delicious eggplant sauce.

Anonymous said...

I use my grandmas recipe.It is so flavorful and good.Its one of those sauces that takes pretty much all day,as it has to simmer for awhile.
The funny thing is,my grand ma had not one bit of Italian in her,yet my SIL that is Italian now uses this recipe to make her sauce.

ThursdayNext said...

I enjoy making a bolognese sauce - a great recipe I found on Epicurious - and then will make a whole vat of it and freeze it for future pasta nights! If I want simple tomato sauce, I just use olive oil, saute garlic, then add crusted tomatoes with some Italian seasonings.