My mom always says that she is a garbage gut when it comes to spaghetti. I have to concur with her on that, but for myself. I think it is really hard for me to think of a spaghetti with meat sauce that I did not like….as in I actually can’t think of one off the top of my head. That being said, there are certainly things that make one better than another to me (READ: RED WINE), but that doesn’t usually stop me from enjoying all varieties. Spaghetti with meat sauce is a childhood favorite for most people, and some of my favorite dinners where when my mom announced that we were having spaghetti with garlic bread. Now, as I have gotten older and cook for my family I have tweaked this recipe to include my favorite components in a meat sauce: red wine, basil, and garlic.
What makes this weeknight? This meat sauce is done (pasta included) in 40 minutes. Sometimes when I make meat sauce I will cook it for hours and, while delicious, it makes for a LATE dinner and not helpful on a busy weeknight. You certainly could do a slow and low cook on this sauce (or event put it in a crockpot), but on a busy night you can have a filling and hearty dinner your family will love.
My kiddos go crazy for spaghetti, and even love it for breakfast in the morning if we have leftovers. Also, this is probably the most requested recipe by my parents and sister when we are making a big family dinner for a football game (Go Pack Go!).
Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that the leftovers are great and it freezes well. I made this late last week, and I just froze some of the sauce for busy weeknights this fall.
Back to school recipes are what saves our house and dinner time because they are simple, quick, and tried & true. You don’t have to second guess if they will turn out because the work is done for you, and you can just focus on enjoying a meal with your little ones.
I do not only use this sauce over spaghetti noodle. When I was a kid my aunt made the best spaghetti sauce, and she would use leftover sauce on english muffins and top with a bit of cheese to make mini pizzas. This is still one of my very favorite ways to use the leftovers before freezing a few portions for later. It is a great way to repurpose leftovers for your kiddos.
Weeknight Spaghetti with Meat Sauce
- 1 1/2 lb lean ground beef
- 1/2 a medium onion, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 oz can of tomato paste
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes, drained
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 large fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Tbl Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbl sugar
- 1-2 lbs spaghetti, depending on how many you are feeding
- Brown beef, with onion and garlic in a medium pot.
- Once beef is not longer pink, add tomato paste and red wine. Stir well to combine.
- Add diced and crushed tomatoes.
- Add basil, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and sugar. Stir, cover, and lightly simmer for about 15 minutes before you prepare the pasta.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Allow sauce to simmer as pasta cooks, stirring as needed.
- Drain pasta. Plate pasta and top with sauce and Parmesan if desired.
This recipe makes enough sauce for about 2 pounds of pasta.