Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

I love pasta. I love, love, love pasta and anything Italian really. My roommates tease me because every night when I make dinner I always make some variation of an Italian dish. I can't help it. I'm a picky eater and so far Italian cuisine has never let me down.

I was browsing through Annie's Eats and saw her recipe for "Baked Ziti." Well, because I am such an avid Italian food fan, I felt an immediate need to whip up some pasta dish. Normally, I keep jarred ready-made sauces in my pantry and I put my own twist on them by adding in different ingredients but this time I decided to try and make my own spaghetti sauce.

The house smelled absolutely amazing while it was cooking and I don't think I will ever go back to buying jarred spaghetti sauce. Here's the recipe I used and I added a few of my own little touches just because of how picky an eater I am.

1/2 cup Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 lb. Ground Beef
5 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can of Diced Tomato
1 28 ounce can of Tomato Sauce
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/2 cup Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped
1 tsp. Sugar
Ground Black Pepper
1 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Heavy Cream

In a large saucepan over medium heat, begin to brown the ground beef (Don't be afraid to substitute for ground turkey or as Annie's Eats did turkey sausage, I'm just not a fan of turkey).
Add in the onions and garlic and continue to cook until onion is softened and translucent and the beef is browned.
Stir in the diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce, oregano, and the heavy cream and simmer until sauce is thickened, about 10 minutes. (Because I am not a huge fan of that overly strong tomato-y taste, I almost always mix in heavy cream just to dumb down that tomato flavor. I did the same with this recipe and it still taste fantastic.) 
Remove from heat and stir in chopped basil, sugar, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

In the words of Ina Garten, "How easy was that!?" I always thought making spaghetti sauce from scratch was going to be difficult and time consuming but this was NOTHING. The smell that permeated throughout the house was absolutely amazing and made me so hungry. This sauce is great for making a Baked Ziti like on Annie's Eats or for just eating it poured over some noodles and some Parmesan cheese on top. Delish.


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