So, I have a confession to make… I love the Real Housewives of New Jersey, specifically Caroline Manzo… She reminds me a lot of me, 20 years from now! On one of the last episodes I saw, poor Caroline and her family trying to make some Southern food… They were making cornbread and gravy from a box and I thought to myself… “My Papaw would tan my hide if he ever saw me using a box to make cornbread; he would tan it twice if he caught me making cornbread in anything but a well seasoned, piping hot, cast-iron skillet.” But this isn’t a post about cornbread, soooo back to my original point! Caroline and her family were talking and one of her kids wondered if Southern people used a box to make cornbread and gravy. Caroline then said, “I bet they don’t, but I bet they open a jar of red pasta sauce and call it Italian!” This made me realize two dreams… One, I want to learn how to make spaghetti sauce from scratch and two, I want to teach Caroline Manzo to make cornbread and gravy the RIGHT way! Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to succeed in either of those dreams. However, since it’s tomato canning season I’m hoping to learn both canning tomatoes and making spaghetti sauce from scratch with said canned tomatoes. Until then, I’m happy to tell ya’ll how I make due with the jarred version. 😉 First of all, you can use pretty much any sauce, but I like Prego Roasted Garlic. Second of all, I have a big family and on most nights there are at least five people eating, so this recipe will feed at least 5 hungry people! You can change it however you like! So, the recipe is as follows:
1 package spaghetti noodles, I like the thin ones but you can use whatever kind you like,
1 1/2 to 2 lbs ground round hamburger meat,
1 jar pasta sauce,
1 can crushed tomatoes,
1 can tomato paste,
2 tbs pesto (I use jarred Classico brand),
1 small onion,
1/2 green bell pepper,
3 cloves of fresh garlic,
Oregano (fresh or dried),
Basil (fresh or dried),
I know that seems like a lot but it’s not as much you think! First things first, chop the onions and bell pepper. Now, you may know this but just in case you don’t, when chopping the garlic, take the dull edge of the knife, push down on the blade with the heel of your hand, and crush the garlic; then peel it and chop it. Crushing the garlic allows the flavors to “activate” sort of. Now, put the sauce, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, pesto, onions, garlic, and bell peppers all in the pot and mix it together. Put it on medium to high heat and allow it to simmer while you brown the hamburger meat. I like to use ground round, it’s 80/20 so it’s a little leaner, it’s definitely not as greasy. I also like to use ground turkey and for fun sometimes I throw in a little Jimmy Dean sausage too. Deer meat is awesome in it too! Whatever you like ;). Drain the meat and add it to the sauce. Now, add the spices, and let it all simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. I like to let it simmer for as long as possible so all the flavors can marry and it’ll pack a PUNCH of deliciousness. You won’t know what you did before this; if I do say so myself. 🙂
So, a lot of people think there is only one way to serve spaghetti; but, I’m here to tell ya’ll there are two other little known ways to serve it. One, you can take the noodles, the sauce, some parmesan shavings, and some monterey jack cheese, mix it all together in a big bowl, pour it in a baking dish, top it with a little more cheese, and bake it at 375 for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is nice and melty. Ooey, gooey, goodness!! And the other way, newly discovered by me, is to use the recipe for the Olga Noodles that I posted last night! Just get a bowl of the Olga Noodles, pour some sauce on top, and enjoy! I know it sounds a little different, but it actually works really well. This is the picture I promised ya’ll yesterday of these delicious Olga Noodles!
Try it out and let me know what ya’ll think! And, I’ll keep ya’ll posted on my tomato canning and homemade spaghetti sauce dreams! Hope to hear from ya’ll soon!