Last time we covered roasting a chicken, so now let’s talk pasta.
One of the most heartbreaking things I see in the grocery store is people buying pasta sauce in a jar. It’s bland, tasteless and full of crap. Why settle for glop in a jar when you can whip up your own in a few minutes?
Here’s what you need:
- 1 pound of ground beef
- 1 pound of Italian sausage
- 1 onion
- Optional: Some garlic. I find peeling and chopping up a garlic kind of fiddly and tedious so I cheat and use garlic powder
- 2 28oz tins of crushed tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Optional: small can of sliced mushrooms, or some fresh sliced mushrooms.
- Spices: Oregano, thyme, sage, salt, pepper, garlic powder
Dice up the onion (and garlic cloves, if that’s what you’re doing) and dump some oil into a large nonstick pot. Heat the oil on medium (don’t go too hot, you’ll smoke the oil) and cook the onion until it goes translucent:
Slice up your sausage into bite sized pieces (cheat: freeze the sausage for an hour to make it easier to slice) and dump it and your ground beef into the pot.
Brown it up:
This would be a good time to add your mushrooms if that’s what you’re doing. You don’t want to cook them so much they shrivel up, and the meat takes a while to get cooked.
Dump in your tomatoes and spices:
How much spices? I really don’t measure and it depends on your tastes. Generally I put in a lot of oregano, a little of the others and lots of garlic powder.
Cover and simmer simmer simmer! You want the spices to soften so at least an hour is called for, but the more the better. Don’t forget to stir the sauce.
This makes about enough sauce for 8 adult servings. Obviously you can halve the recipe for less, but extra sauce can be poured into freezer quality Ziplocs and frozen, or you can layer it with pasta, white sauce and cheese for a stupid easy baked pasta dish. For pasta, the folks residing in casa del pdb are partial towards Barilla, but it’s hard to go wrong. After the pasta is boiled, drain and set aside, then dump a ladle of the sauce in the still-hot pasta pot and saute the pasta in it for a minute before serving. Garnish with real freshly grated Parmesan, not that powdered crap in a can. Grated in a bag is an acceptable substitute if you’re desperate, but real cheese is worth it.
Stop supporting the sauce-in-a-jar conspiracy and make your own damn pasta sauce!