I can have cravings for a plate of a good old spaghetti and meat sauce, served with parmesan and a cold beer! A plate of something old fashion, “everyday meal”. Something your mama used to make.
I think that many of us has pasta as a “go to” or a “fast fix” meal. For me, one of the easiest sauces to make is a meat sauce. You can switch the meat out for anything else that you would prefer. Perhaps some tuna, pulled pork or just keep it vegetarian if you prefer that.
I don’t measure anything. I just take a little of this and a little of that. Whatever I have in the fridge will be the base of it all.
Good old Meat sauce.
10-16 oz. Ground beef.
1 medium or large onion. Any color.
1-3 cups of chopped fresh vegetables. I usually use a mixture of fresh mushrooms, peppers, carrots, celery.
1 medium can of crushed tomatoes. If you are lucky and have fresh tomatoes, cube those up and use those instead.
Lot’s of garlic. I like it a lot so for me, it will be about 6 cloves but if you only want one, that is good enough.
3-4 tbsp. of tomato paste (or ketchup if you don’t have tomato paste).
Any kind of fresh or dried herbs. About 1-2 tbsp.
Salt & pepper to taste.
A splash of hot sauce in my case but that is optional as always.
Milk or heavy cream. You could also use creme fraiche. If you don’t want to use dairy, just use a broth.
Chop or shred your vegetables while you fry up the ground beef in a skillet on medium high heat. When the meat is done, pour over to a bowl. Fry the chopped onions and the vegetables in the same skillet. When the onions are getting a little translucent, pour in the fried meat. Add the tomato paste or ketchup. Start with half the amount since it is easier to add than take out. Let the garlic fry with the veggies and meat just a few minutes so they don’t burn. Add the crushed tomatoes and the milk/heavy cream/ broth or whatever liquid you prefer to use, to the skillet. Let boil down for anything from 15-30 minutes. It all depends on how much liquid you have added. I add about 2 cups of liquid. If it gets to “dry” before I get a loose and soft sauce, I just pour in more milk. Salt & pepper to taste. Add the herbs the last few minutes.
I serve this with any kind of pasta. This is such an easy weeknight dish. The trick is to cook a lot of sauce and freeze it in badges. You just take it out the night before and let it defrost in the fridge over night. boil the pasta when you get home and heat up the sauce. Super fast. Just the way I like it. And that cold beer is just the crowning of this easy, basic dish.
Add some shredded parmesan and call it a day.