Pasta is one of those comfort foods that you crave during the cooler months of the year, but really – it’s amazing most months of the year. Hearty tomato sauce rich with meat and mushrooms is a nice meal to prepare for weeknight meals, weekend celebrations, or for holiday guests. My grandson is a big spaghetti lover and he just digs a good bowl of heart warming pasta, and this recipe is one of his favorites.
Making this sauce is simple enough – browning ground meat, stirring in tomatoes with a few dried herbs and spices makes a fragrant pot of deliciousness. As the sauce cooks, the house fills with the aroma of an Italian restaurant, so you might have to break out a glass of red wine to sip during cooking in the kitchen.
I spoon this sauce over cooked pasta or steamed spaghetti squash – both absorb the meaty sauce beautifully. Just mix together a big salad to serve alongside, and you have yourself a delightful meal to enjoy.
1 white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
1 pound Crimini or Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
2 teaspoons dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
14 ounces roasted canned tomatoes
6 ounces tomato paste
1 1/2 pounds cooked pasta or spaghetti squash
olive oil for cooking
Parmesan cheese, optional
1. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, add 2 teaspoon of olive oil, diced onion and garlic. Place over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes. Add ground meat and break apart with spoon, continue to cook for 8 minutes, then add sliced mushrooms. Cook meat and mushroom mixture for 7 minutes.
2. Add oregano, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir. Pour in tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 1/2 cups water or white wine. Stir to combine and continue to cook for 6 minutes. Turn heat to simmer and cover pan with lid. Cook for 20 minutes.
3. Remove lid and stir. To serve, ladle sauce over pasta or squash, or toss sauce with pasta in pan and serve. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Enjoy!