Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Makin dinner Easy Peasy

I love making pasta with red sauce for dinner. I would call it Spaghetti, but...I don't always use spaghetti noodles. Infact, last night when I made it, I used half spaghettin and half fettucine an effort to clean out the pantry!

So...Here is my recipe/method/thoughts on Easy Peasy Red Sauce.

When I was in college my roommate and I bought almost all premade, pre-packaged food. Seriously, it’s almost laughable to me now. Of course one of those things was jarred red spaghetti sauce. It’s so easy, and comes in different flavors, and well…you just can’t go wrong with it.
Red Sauce from a jar was one of those things that I bought because it was novelty to me. My mom ALWAYS made her own sauce, and just like with Mac n’ cheese (never had the boxed stuff) and green beans (we only had fresh or frozen) I never realized how good I had it. Mmm all that Salt and fake ingredients were yummy to my taste buds. Anyway….one day after Scott and I got married (this must have been really early in our marriage, cause I make red sauce at least 3x a month now) we were at the grocery store, and I reached for a jar of spaghetti sauce. Scott looked at me and said “you must be joking.” I thought HE was joking. Apparently not.
“Spaghetti sauce is really easy, I always make my own.” He said.
“Oh sure, I know how to make it too, it’s no big deal” I heard myself say.
But really I was unsure of how I was going to pull this off.
Little did I seriously easy it is. Now, we don’t start with fresh tomatoes, so we are still cheating a little bit. But...this way is just as easy, and costs so much less. Plus its easier to control how much you make, and you don’t end up with half a jar of moldy sauce in your fridge.

Last night I started with some olive oil, minced garlic and 1/4 pound of ground beef in a sauce pan, yum!
Then I opened one small can of Tomato Paste, and One large can of Tomato Sauce. The small can cost 25 cents, and the large can cost 48 cents. Can't beat that now can you?

Then I added some spices from my trusty spice rack, along with a pinch of sugar. Hmm.. I see in this picture that some of my spices never get used and are actually dusty. Oops! and seriously who thought that was a good color for counter tops? Ugh.

I dumped everything right ontop of the browned beef and garlic, Here it is pre-stir.

Stir all together and keep warm until noodles are ready! A super cheap and easy meal. I sliced up a cucumber for extra veggies and dinner was ready in 15 minutes.
Easy Peasy Red Sauce
Tomato Sauce or puree. I usually use sauce in a can, which I realize has some additives. (dried onion flakes etc).
Tomato Paste
-garlic powder
-“Italian seasonings”
Really anything that strikes your fancy.

Open the Sauce, and dump into a medium sauce pan.
Open the paste and dump into a medium sauce pan.
Season with seasonings of your choice.

Put pan on stove over medium heat and start stirring to meld together paste, sauce, and seasonings.
Reduce heat to low and let warm through while waiting for pasta to cook.