Friday, October 31, 2008

Friday Feast

I am trying to get into the routine of posting and decided that I am going to make Friday's my "recipe day." So, here it goes! I'm under the impression that everybody likes spaghetti. Right? And even if you have a disturbingly picky child (and I do), they will eat the plain noodles even if they won't touch the sauce. So we eat a LOT of spaghetti at our house. My mom's spaghetti is stellar and I used to make it -before we added a 3rd boy to the litter- but it take 8 hours to cook. Using a tip from a friend (thank you, Heather!), I finally modified my old recipe and get an amazing spaghetti meat sauce that only takes about 3 hours. You can eat it sooner and it will be way better than anything you get out of a jar, but if you get it on the stovetop before the kids get home from school and then leave it there until dinnertime-- I swear you will be happy. It freezes really well, too, so I always make a huge batch and then throw the leftovers in a few different containers and pull them out on days when there isn't time to cook and we are sick of Trader Joe's Mandarin Orange Chicken (which, actually, the kids NEVER get sick of, just us adults). Serve it with a salad and an oven toasted baguette. That is my comfort food!

Spaghetti Sauce
1 tsp. olive oil
2 lbs. ground sirloin (if you don't mind the fat, use gr. chuck-it tastes better)
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, put through a press
1 tsp. basil
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. thyme
2 bay leaves
1 jar Trader Joe's Tomato Basil Marinara (or other store brand- just tomato and basil, tho!)
2 15-oz. cans of Muir Glen Fire-Roasted Diced Tomatoes
1 small can tomato paste + 3 cans of water

Add olive oil to a large stockpot, over med. high heat. Add onions and sauté about three minutes, add crushed garlic and stir for about a minute. Add hamburger and cook until it there is no pink left. At this point, I usually tip the pot over the edge of the stovetop to drain any grease out that may have accumulated. After you get the grease out, turn back to medium-high heat and add the spices. Stir into meat and then add all the tomatoes, sauce, tomato paste and water. Bring to a boil and then turn down to a simmer. Stir occasionally. Cook for about three hours. Enjoy!

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