We had another family over for dinner this weekend and I decided to make just an easy meat sauce for dinner rather than cooking anything too fancy. I got the sauce started about an hour before they arrived, made up a salad, and got some garlic bread ready to pop under the broiler. This left me plenty of time to sit and visit with my friends, left everyone well-fed and content at the table, and was easy to clean up besides!
Cheap and Easy Meat Sauce for Spaghetti
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 onion, diced
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 28-oz can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 1 cup water
- a handful of fresh basil, chopped
- a sprig of fresh oregano, chopped
- another handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs sugar
- Brown the ground beef in a large deep skillet and drain off most of the fat.
- Add the onion and garlic it and cook gently until softened.
- Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer an hour or two. Add more water or wine or both if it gets too dry while you're cooking.
Leftovers taste great the next day and it freezes well, too, if you’d rather not eat the same thing twice in one week.
Substitute dry herbs for fresh if you need to. I personally dislike that combination herbs labeled “Italian seasoning” and prefer to just create my own combination. They always taste too strongly of something I dislike which I can never quite put my finger on.