308 calories/serving (1 cup sauce and 1 cup cooked pasta)
• 1 24 oz. jar tomato sauce
• 1 large tomato
• 2 onions
• 2 green peppers
• 3 tbsp. minced garlic
• 2 tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO)
• 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
• 1 zucchini, chopped
• 1 yellow squash, chopped
• 1 ½ cups shredded, sliced or matchstick carrots
• 1.5 lbs. lean ground beef (95/5)
• 1 lb spaghetti
• Heat the tomato sauce over medium heat in a large sauce pot.
• Using a food processor, puree the tomato, 1 onion, 1 green pepper, 1 tbsp. garlic, EVOO and vinegar. Add the liquid mixture to the pot, mix well.
• Dice the remaining onion and green pepper, mix with the remaining garlic, zucchini, squash and carrots and add it all to the pot. Mix very well
• Increase the heat to medium-high, stirring occasionally.
• Once the mixture starts a slow boil, cover the pot with a tight fitting lid and lower to a simmer. Allow this to simmer for at least 30 minutes, preferably several hours – stirring once an hour.
• 20 minutes before you are ready to serve dinner bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta and heat a medium sized skillet over medium-high heat for the ground beef
• Brown each side of the ground beef, about 3 minutes per side.
• Use a spatula to break up the meat as much as possible, and lightly season with salt and pepper. Stir constantly while doing this. Once the beef looks medium-rare add it to the sauce mixture and mix very well.
• Once the water is boiling, pour in the pasta and stir until it no longer clumps together. Cook the pasta for about 9 minutes or until fully cooked, stirring very often.
• Use 1 cup of pasta and 1 cup of sauce per serving.
This is a relatively simple version of red sauce but hands down my “go-to” pasta sauce. The directions say to cook the sauce for at least 30 minutes. I try to start my sauce as early in the day as possible, usually at lunch. Allowing it to simmer all afternoon will extract significantly more flavor from the vegetables and spices than the 30 or 40 minutes in the recipe; always try to cook low and slow.
Also, as with many recipes of this type, it is extremely easy to cook large portions for future use. The sauce will keep in the freezer for at least 2 months without losing flavor.