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Friday, August 10, 2012

Food Cravings

Have you ever picked up a book and after reading a while developed food cravings?

This happens frequently to me. Last week I read three books in a row that mentioned pie. It made me want pie. Did I get pie? No. Too much trouble. I made muffins and pretended it was pie. Today I started a book set in Italy. So of course, as soon as the Italian Mama made family dinner I was drooling for pasta sauce.

This began my afternoon of cooking adventures.

Homemade Red Pasta Sauce. Greek Yogurt (I started this yesterday, but it just finished straining) Granola. Homemade Ricotta Cheese

Life is good. Because it's good and I love you and it's Friday, (YAY FRIDAY!) here is the recipe for super tasty Pasta Sauce. It has been heartily approved by my very picky Italian husband. =) The best part about this recipe? It feeds a ton of people. With enough leftovers to freeze. Make the pot, freeze half and you have any easy dinner later on after a rough day. Aren't I brilliant?

Spaghetti Sauce

Ingredients needed: onion, garlic, oregano, basil, bay leaves, cayenne pepper, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes and ground beef. Not shown: sugar, water and olive oil.
First, chop one medium sized onion. Like so...

Also chop the garlic. 12 cloves of them. Not the little cloves, either.

Now, in a huge pot heat 3 TBS olive oil. Add in the onion and saute. Then add the garlic!

Warning: this will smell divine.
Add the ground beef and brown. Note that you can use thin sliced steak instead of the beef. That's the preferred around here, but I was out and used what I had on hand.

When the meat is browned, add 1 TBS each of oregano and basil. 1tsp cayenne, salt and pepper.

Once fragrant, add the tomatoes and tomato paste!!!

Stir the ingredients together and add 12-24 oz water. Also add 2 more TBS dried basil and oregano and the bay leaves. 3 of them.

Uncovered, bring to a boil over high heat. After boiling 15 minutes, lower heat. Simmer 1 hour covered, stirring occasionally. Taste. Add sugar to cut the acid. Add any more seasonings to taste. Simmer another 45 minutes. Turn off heat. Eat and enjoy!


1 medium onion, chopped
12 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS olive oil
2 lbs ground beef (or thin sliced steak cut into bite sized pieces)
3 TBS dried basil, divided
3 TBS dried oregano, divided
1 tsp cayenne pepper (more to taste--I usually add another tsp at the end)
1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tsp ground black pepper
4 cans (28 oz) crushed tomatoes
4 cans (6 oz) tomato paste
3 large bay leaves
1/4 cup sugar

In a large pot, heat the oil over med-high heat. Add the onions and cook to soft, adding in the garlic. Cook until just barely beginning to brown. Stir in the beef. Brown. Once browned, mix in 1 TBS oregano and 1 TBS basil, cayenne, salt and pepper. Carefully, pour in the tomatoes, both crushed and paste. Add remaining spices.
Bring to a boil, uncovered. Allow to boil 15 minutes, then lower heat and cover. Simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add the sugar and taste. If desired, add any more seasonings to taste. Simmer another 45 minutes. Take off the heat and enjoy!
Serve over pasta, or whatever you fancy. I love to make veggie lasagna with this!
Serves plenty. ;-)

My favourite way to taste test this is ladle out a small serving and dip crusty bread into it. Fantastic snack.
Enjoy my friends!!!