Mom's Spaghetti Sauce (no garlic, low salt)
This is a fantastic recipe my mom taught me when I was 9 or 10, because it's so easy to make, and makes plenty to feed everyone.
ground beef, extra lean
tomatoes, canned, no salt added
whole, diced, or crushed
one small can or package
sweet red bell peppers
chopped (green/orange/yellow make nice contrast)
sliced (prepackaged is fine)
optional but adds much to flavour
fresh, chopped, (optional)
grated fine (optional, extra fiber)
chopped fine (also optional, will increase sodium content if used)
Really you only need the meat, tomatoes and tomato paste, onion and seasoning to make this work if you are low on veggies. This is a very thick sauce and rivals any canned 'chunky' sauce I have ever used, plus sodium/additive content is more controlled vs. commercially prepared sauces.
Chop all vegetables before hand, so it's easier to add in the final stages. I usually just add all of them into a large bowl as I chop just so I'm not keeping everything separate. (less dishes) Open canned tomatoes and paste for quick adding.
Brown Ground beef or turkey on medium high heat until cooked in a large saucepan, Meat should be broken up and crumbly. Drain additional fat (if regular ground beef or pork is used instead)
If no meat is being used, brown veggies in a tablespoon of olive oil, to sear in taste for 5 minutes before adding tomatoes.
Add onions, and celery and brown with the meat for 3 to 4 min until onions are slightly translucent, and celery is bright green.
Then add mushrooms, peppers and carrots (if you desire), cook over medium high heat for another few minutes.
(Usually being the slacker that I am, I add all the chopped veggies in with the browned beef/turkey meat at the same time and just cook for 5 minutes before adding tomatoes)
If crunchier vegetables are desired, add all ingredients except fresh vegetables until the last hour of cooking.
Reduce heat to medium. Pour can of tomatoes (chopped or diced works best, whole is fine too), and mix well with meat and vegetables. Then add can of tomato paste and mix well.
Fresh diced tomatoes can also be added if you have them available. Your sauce should be at a simmer/low boil.
Finally add Worcestershire sauce, and Parmesan cheese (Romano works as well) and chopped green olives if desired. Take approximately 1 heaping tablespoon of dried Italian seasoning mix and rub between your hands briskly into sauce (this will release the dried oils in the herbs) Mix well into sauce. I'm not a big fan of garlic so I let the family add their own to taste (as well as salt and pepper.)
Reduce to low heat. Cover and let simmer over low heat for at least one hour, 2 hours is optimal, 3 hours is max (before veggies turn into mush) This makes roughly 4 large portions of sauce or 6 lunch servings. Most times I have enough left to freeze at least one dinner (depending on the volume of vegetables added) Freezes very well and tastes better after a few days in the fridge or freezer for leftovers.
Serve over pasta of your choice. Salt/pepper/garlic powder to personal taste. Top with additional grated cheese if desired and enjoy.
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