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Spaghetti Meat Sauce Recipe

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This hearty spaghetti meat sauce recipe is packed with flavor and sure to become a family favorite. Made with ground beef, a variety of tomatoes, and aromatic herbs and spices, it’s perfect for topping your favorite pasta. Let’s dive into the delicious details.

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Ingredients

  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 container (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 1 jar (24 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • 2 jars (24 ounces each) mixed tomatoes (e.g., diced, stewed)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion or 2 medium onions, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried sweet basil
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Base

  1. Sauté Aromatics:
    • In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
    • Add the minced garlic, diced onion, and diced green pepper.
    • Sauté until the vegetables are softened and aromatic, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Brown the Beef:
    • Push the sautéed vegetables to the side of the pot and add the ground beef.
    • Cook the ground beef, breaking it apart with a spoon, until it is browned and no longer pink.

Step 2: Flavor the Sauce

  1. Add Tomatoes:
    • Stir in the diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and mixed tomatoes (including their juices) into the pot with the browned beef and vegetables.
  2. Season:
    • Add the garlic powder, onion powder, minced parsley, sweet basil, Italian seasoning, dried oregano, sea salt, and black pepper to the pot.
    • Stir well to combine all the ingredients.
  3. Simmer:
    • Bring the sauce to a gentle simmer over medium-low heat.
    • Let it simmer uncovered for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken slightly.
    • Stir occasionally to prevent sticking and burning.

Step 3: Serve

  1. Taste and Adjust:
    • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning if necessary.
    • Add more salt, pepper, or herbs to suit your preferences.
  2. Serve:
    • Once the sauce has reached your desired consistency and flavor, it’s ready to serve.
    • Spoon the sauce generously over cooked spaghetti or your favorite pasta.
  3. Garnish and Enjoy:
    • Garnish the spaghetti meat sauce with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
    • Serve hot and enjoy the delicious flavors of homemade spaghetti meat sauce.

Tips and Variations

  • Vegetable Variations: Feel free to add other vegetables such as carrots, celery, or mushrooms for extra flavor and nutrition.
  • Meat Options: You can use ground turkey, chicken, or a mix of meats instead of ground beef.
  • Make Ahead: This sauce freezes well, so consider making a double batch and freezing half for later use.
  • Spice Level: Adjust the amount of garlic, onion, and pepper to your preferred level of spiciness.
  • Herb Freshness: If you have fresh herbs on hand, such as basil or parsley, feel free to use them instead of dried herbs for a fresher flavor.

This spaghetti meat sauce recipe is a classic dish that’s perfect for busy weeknights or special occasions. With its rich and flavorful sauce packed with ground beef, tomatoes, and aromatic herbs and spices, it’s sure to satisfy everyone at the table. Serve it over your favorite pasta for a comforting and delicious meal that’s always a hit. Enjoy

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Can I use fresh tomatoes instead of canned tomatoes?

Absolutely! Fresh tomatoes can be used in place of canned tomatoes. You’ll need to peel and chop them before adding them to the sauce. Use about 4-5 medium-sized fresh tomatoes to replace one 14.5-ounce can of diced tomatoes.

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2. How long can I store the leftover spaghetti meat sauce?

Leftover spaghetti meat sauce can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it for longer storage. Allow the sauce to cool completely before transferring it to freezer-safe containers or resealable bags. Frozen sauce can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

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3. Can I make this sauce vegetarian?

Absolutely! Simply omit the ground beef and use additional vegetables or meat substitutes such as crumbled tofu or textured vegetable protein (TVP). You can also bulk up the sauce with additional beans or lentils for protein.

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4. How can I adjust the consistency of the sauce?

If you prefer a thicker sauce, you can simmer it for a longer period of time to allow more moisture to evaporate. Alternatively, you can add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce. For a thinner sauce, you can add a splash of water or broth to reach your desired consistency.

5. Can I customize the seasonings?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the seasonings to suit your taste preferences. You can add more or less garlic, onion, or herbs depending on your preference. You can also experiment with different herbs and spices to create your own unique flavor profile.

6. Can I make this sauce in advance?

Yes, spaghetti meat sauce actually tastes better when it’s allowed to sit for a while, as the flavors have time to meld together. You can make the sauce a day or two in advance and store it in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. Simply reheat it gently on the stovetop or in the microwave before serving.

7. Is there a low-sodium option for this recipe?

If you’re watching your sodium intake, you can use low-sodium or no-salt-added canned tomatoes and broth. You can also reduce the amount of salt called for in the recipe and adjust it to taste. Additionally, you can add other flavor-enhancing ingredients such as fresh herbs, lemon juice, or vinegar to boost the flavor without adding extra salt.

8. Can I make this sauce spicy?

Absolutely! If you like a bit of heat, you can add red pepper flakes or a dash of hot sauce to the sauce. You can also use spicy Italian sausage instead of ground beef for an extra kick of heat. Adjust the amount of spice to suit your taste preferences.

9. What are some serving suggestions for this sauce?

This spaghetti meat sauce is delicious served over cooked spaghetti noodles, but you can also use it with other pasta shapes such as fettuccine, penne, or rigatoni. You can also use it as a topping for baked potatoes, roasted vegetables, or even as a filling for stuffed peppers or lasagna. Don’t forget to sprinkle some freshly grated Parmesan cheese on top for extra flavor!

10. Can I make this sauce gluten-free?

Yes! Simply use gluten-free pasta and double-check that all other ingredients, such as the canned tomatoes, broth, and seasonings, are certified gluten-free. You can also thicken the sauce with a gluten-free flour or cornstarch slurry instead of traditional flour.

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