laser: I think your recipe is very good. I like it a bit salty but other than that, you did very good.
Paul E. Smith
Sometimes I do all sausage, out of casing, and no hamburger. Onions are always good. Red Pepper flakes are also good for spice. Olives – kalamata
For most of my life Spaghetti was 1 1/2 Lbs Ground Hamburger Browned, 2 Jars/Cans of Prego mixed in, and then this was served individually over the standard Spaghetti or Angel Hair Pasta. This was meant to be a quick, no-fuss meal.
Recently I started making it for the same reasons, but I think it lacks something. I started first with the easy stuff. I would dump in some chopped garlic and Italian Seasoning while the hamburger was browning. I then decided to start cutting up a large tomato and green bell pepper to throw in with the sauce. Next I started buying a can of sliced mushrooms to put in as well. Then, most recently, I tried mixing in some italian sausage with my hamburger. Personally I think these were all improvements, and added very little prep time to the overall dish. I like how the vegetables really make the sauce taste less "canned" and give much more "body". The sausage was easy enough to mix in, but I couldn’t really taste it and it may not always be as available to me as the other ingredients.
I was wondering if I could get some more ideas on what I could add to improve my Spaghetti. The 2 cans/jars of sauce and the hamburger are important to keep because they are what make this so very cheap and easy. I am looking more for things I can throw in to what I already have. Either spices, vegetables, or other unique things.
This is the recipe I use with two jars of Bertolli:
use a mixture of half ground pork, and beef
saute fresh chopped onion, celery, and bell pepper, add fresh, halved, mushrooms
Use a mixture of oregano, basil, thyme, and a bay leaf – add fresh chopped garlic after you’ve added jars of sauce to the pot.
I do a quick & cheap sauce, and a slow, more expensive sauce, whichever I have time for.
Quick & cheap:
Saute a medium sized vidalia onion in olive oil until translucent, add some chopped garlic just before the onions are done.
Add 1 small can of tomato paste, mix it in and let it heat up, stirring regularly. At this point I add a little basil, oregano, salt, and pepper. Just when you think that’s about to start burning, add a can of whole tomatoes, preferably plum. Mix it all up, turn down the heat, taste it, and adjust seasonings to taste. Let it simmer for a few minutes, and that’s about it.
If I have ground beef around, I’ll add it in with the onions and garlic, but I usually just make it without it.
I’ll save my time-consuming recipe for another time. [:)]
That sounds very good…really simple, cheap and highly versatile. I for one am certainly going to try it. Thank you very much for sharing. Looks like a winner to me.
As I said above, I like Stricken Detective’s very simple but versatile approach. I think it will beat any bottled sauce, plus you can adjust it according to your own individual tastes. Well worth experimenting with anyway. How can anyone argue with 60+ years of happy results?
Ha! Yeah… most of the suggestions are probably out of my weekly food budget, but that hasn’t stopped me from copying quite a few of them down. As for my sauce, I do use Prego but I prefer Newman’s and sometimes a little Emeril when I feel like splurging. I did get a lot of ideas though, even if I had to cannibalize different recipes for ingredients. The wine is even do-able too. I don’t really drink, so one bottle might last for quite a few meals.
All of it is very appreciated.
Well, I didn’t want to be snotty, but starting with a jarred sauce, especially Prego, is half of his dilemma. I would not feed Prego to my dog. There. I said it. [xx(]
Here is my Gram’s sauce recipe. We always triple it.
1 can tomato paste, and 3 of these cans of water
1 small can tomato sauce
^^It start here, triple these amounts, then throw in a stick of butter, a pinch of sugar & salt at the end to taste. Simmer together for half an hour or longer. This is the sauce that has covered countless dishes over the last 60+ years of her marriage to my grandfather. I like it because you can purchase the no-salt-added varieties & control the amount of salt in your dish.
And you know as the generations have come, we add our own variations to this sauce. My father LOVES the sauce with beef (browned chuck roast simmered in the sauce) and he LOVES hot, so he adds his own pepper mixture. I, personally, like to add crushed red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, garlic, fresh cracked black pepper, and sometimes a bit of basil, whatever I’m in the mood for that day. As for meat, I will sometimes do meat, but it’s more likely to have mushrooms.
If you make the triple batch you can add whatever kind of meat you want. My grandmother adds baked meatballs, browned pork steaks, browned chuck roast, and her sister used to add ground beef. It’s a very versatile sauce, but she is sneaky. She gave me this recipe when I was 15 & I spent half my life wondering why mine never turned out like hers. Then a few years ago for Christmas I stayed with them for a few days helping for the big holiday & I saw her sneak butter & sugar into the sauce!!!! [:0] I said, "What are you doing?" & she told me you add it in at the very end, she must have forgotten to tell me. [:(!]
So there you have it. I have put tomatoes in my sauce a time or two, but not as a rule.
Posted – 05/01/2008 : 18:44:48
Nah, I think we did OK! He asked,
"I was wondering if I could get some more ideas on what I could add to improve my Spaghetti. The 2 cans/jars of sauce and the hamburger are important to keep because they are what make this so very cheap and easy. I am looking more for things I can throw in to what I already have. Either spices, vegetables, or other unique things. "
lots of good ideas here! using pork/italian sausage instead of Beef, WINE, (you CAN get a decent bottle for under $10) and fresh Basil would be at the top of my list. and simmer for a long time to let the flavors meld. But if I had to just recommend one ingrediant that would help most, I would say it’s red wine!
I did get a little crazy, didn’t I? [:I]
Maybe this will atone: In two words, "TryMezzetta!" I’ve tried several of their sauces, and there’s really no need to add anything at all, though I do usually add meat. Mezzetta’s sauces have always been impeccable in every way, and you won’t be disappointed.
For a sauce with meatballs and sausage you need to simmer for a couple hours to bring the flavors together.
At any price point a fresh sauce takes only minutes to prepare. Use any ingredients that your pocket book allows. In fact, you should only start cooking your sauce as soon as you drop the pasta in the water. Have all ingredients prepped and ready.
Tonights supper: Saute onion, garlic and crushed red pepper. Add a splash of red wine and reduce. Add two chopped plum tomatos. In two minutes add diced San Marzano tomatos. Turn heat to high and throw in a couple handfuls of shrimp. Serve over pasta.
The first three ingredients are a staple. The rest are of your choosing. Any fresh veggie, sun dried tomatos, mushrooms, etc.
I think we have let Laserwolf down. All he really wanted was a cheap but good pasta recipe. Two jars of tomato sauce combined with 1.5 pounds of ground beef is not attractive to begin with from either a culinary or budgetary aspect.
He is also cooking only what he knows. The suggestions so far conform only to the original request regarding jazzing it up. Nobody thought beyond this. He states he grew up with it, but does not really like it or can’t get it right. I don’t know if anyone could get this right on a tight budget. Add wine? That’s at least $10 more and not helpful if one does not drink wine. And so it goes. Time to think outside of the box.
This is my suggestion for cheap but tasty. A few cloves of garlic simmered in ordinary olive oil, then discarded. Since meat is in the equation, cook Italian link sausage in the same pan…both will benefit. Remove and reserve sausage, toss pasta with the olive oil, add grated cheese if desired. Serve sausage and any vegetables you want on the side. Simple, cheap and good. Also a lot more authentic.
What a recipe,Padre!!!!!!!!!!!!![:)]
Rick, It sounds very good to me:
Paul E. Smith
To paraphrase Bushie,
I like the meat sauce that I make, and everyone tells me it’s good. Let me state however, that I am a Tennesseean who moved to Louisiana 10 years ago, and I don’t know of one drop of Italian blood in my veins, so basically I don’t know sh*t from Shinola about making a "real" sauce. Over the years I just played with making it, and here’s what I usually do:
It’s easy to adapt for smaller quantities and if you do, it’s very fast.
Be sure to read the notes & suggestions at the end!
Spaghetti Sauce in Quantity
6 lb. lean ground beef
6 lb., 3 oz. canned tomatoes in juice (1 large can)
90 oz. Italian style tomato sauce (6 15-oz. cans)
24 oz. tomato paste (2 cans)
.62 oz. dehydrated bell peppers
.25 oz. dehydrated celery flakes
.9 oz dehydrated minced garlic
.25 oz. Italian seasoning
.55 oz. anise seed
4 oz. dehydrated chopped or minced onions
3 oz. fresh grated Parmesan
1� T powdered allspice
3 T sweet basil
1 t Tabasco sauce
2 bay leaves, whole
Brown beef lightly and drain thoroughly in colander. (For extremely low fat content, rinse it with hot water and drain some more.)
While meat is cooking and draining, crush canned tomatoes. Put them, with tomato sauce and paste, in large stockpot; laminated stainless and aluminum recommended.
When meat is thoroughly drained, add to stockpot. Add a quart of water and mix thoroughly.
Add seasonings and mix thoroughly. Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat, and mix in cheese.
Cover and simmer as long as is convenient.
Chill quickly, then refrigerate overnight; freeze in desired portions.
Notes, suggestions and options: Be sure to add Tabasco (no substitute) at beginning of cooking period; this will cook off the "hot" but keep the flavor. (If you want more heat you can also add crushed red peppers.) Substitute sweet Italian sausage for beef; do not add anise until you’ve tasted the sauce. Fresh bell pepper, celery, and onions are excellent but labor-intensive. If you use them, do not add water until mixture has cooked for at least two hours, as they will add to the liquid content. Mushrooms are optional and expensive. Use Romano cheese if you can find it: it has a slightly different flavor which I prefer. Add a cup of red wine during simmering period.
All herbs and spices are dried. When an odd quantity is given it’s because the seasoning comes in that quantity.
Experiment with seasonings!
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