Have you ever looked at the labels on commercial Spaghetti Sauce? Next time you’re out shopping, pick up a can or jar of it and read the label. Notice how much sugar is in there, whether it’s in the form of sugar or high fructose corn syrup or something else that means sugar. I don’t know about you but I try not to buy anything with HFCS in it and quite frankly, why do you need so much sugar in something that is basically just tomatoes and herbs? I started making my own spaghetti sauce years ago and we like it better than any of the commercial brands out there. I also use it as a base for lasagna, so when I make sauce, I make a lot. I figure if I’m going to be spending time in the kitchen, I am going to make it count for something. If you have your own home canned tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste, I applaud you, I don’t so I go to the store and buy tomatoes in several different forms.
As you can see from the picture, I open cans, and then add it to the browned meat, and after that, correct for seasonings. And I only use the No Salt added tomato products. We don’t need the salt and certainly don’t miss it either in this recipe. Check out how much sodium is in those other cans of tomatoes. I think you’ll be surprised.
|Meat with Herbs and Tomato Paste (sorry for the blurry picture)|
I just found a great product called Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs blend. Check the link out here, http://www.gourmetgarden.com/us/ It comes in a tube and you can find it in the refrigerated section of the veggie section in your grocery store. It is a little pricey, but well worth it for the fresh taste. Or you can add some dried Italian seasoning to the meat as you’re browning it, this seems to help open up the flavour of the dried herbs. While the meat is browning open up those cans of diced tomatoes, tomato sauce and tomato paste. If using canned mushrooms, go ahead and add them with the tomatoes. Dump the tomatoes into a large pot, mix it up with your spoon until the tomato paste is mixed in and when the meat is ready, add it to the pot. Taste it here to help correct the seasoning, and if necessary add more herbs. And if it seems to acidic, add a teaspoon of sugar. I also add a few tbsp. freshly grated parmesan cheese and then simmer for about an hour or two or three over low heat, stirring from time to time. Cook up your favourite pasta, whether it be spaghetti, linguine, or angel hair and serve the sauce over the pasta or however you like to serve it. And it makes a lot. I freeze the rest and pull it out when we’re in the mood for Spaghetti or Lasagna. If I’m making Lasagna, I add a can of diced tomatoes and then layer it with cheeses and noodles.
|Ready for the freezer.|
This is also a very company friendly dish. You can stretch it with a couple of cans more of tomatoes, a tad more seasoning, cook up lots of spaghetti and serve with a green salad and a loaf or two of garlic bread.
Here’s the recipe;
1 lb. lean ground beef (feel free to use Ground Turkey instead)
1 lb. Italian sausage, removed from casing
1 large. onion, diced
2-5 cloves garlic, minced (to your taste)
8 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced or 2 small cans mushrooms
3 16 oz. cans diced tomatoes, no salt added (Marzano Tomatoes if you can get them, they really add to the flavour.)
2-3 6 oz. cans tomato sauce, or 1 large can, no salt added
3 cans regular tomato paste
1 can tomato paste with Italian herbs added
3-4 tbsp. Gourmet Garden Italian Herbs, or 1-2 tsp. dried Italian Seasoning.
1-2 tbsp. Amore Double Concentrated Tomato Paste http://www.amorebrand.com/products/tomato-paste
2-4 tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
Sugar, 1-2 teaspoons, optional
Olive oil for browning.