Spaghetti Sauce

spaghetti sauce 4OK, so yes, technically, I didn’t use actual spaghetti pasta when I made/photographed this. But, it’s a red, tomato based meat sauce that goes on top of noodles which in my opinion, equals spaghetti sauce. Call it what you want, I call it yummy.

The key to this sauce is letting it simmer and cook down. This is what I think is the spaghetti secret. For those of you who’ve had spaghetti where the sauce is a bit watery and leaching out liquid all over the plate, well, that’s no good. But if you let the sauce cook longer, the flavors develop MORE and the end result is a thicker, heartier sauce that doesn’t taste like liquid tomato. Sad to say, but I’ve actually eaten at restaurants that serve their spaghetti just like that! And I’m sure you have too.

Even though you need to let this simmer, this recipe for me is just about the easiest thing you can make. And a good spaghetti recipe is something everyone needs to know. So for you new cooks just starting out (or seasoned veterans), this one’s a keeper!

Spaghetti Sauce

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, bulk (or 1/2 pound each of ground pork & ground beef)
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 8 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced (that’s a whole package)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 c. red or white wine (whatever you have on hand that’s open)
  • 28 ounce can of crushed tomatoes
  • 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/8 tsp. salt (if using ground pork & ground beef) OR 1/4 tsp. salt (if using Italian sausage)
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. Italian seasoning

In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat over medium. Once hot, add in the Italian sausage. Cook until almost fully browned, stirring occasionally and add in the onion and bell pepper. Stir together and let cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add in the mushrooms and garlic. Cook for 1 more minute. Then add in the wine. Stir, making sure to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Let cook for 1-2 minutes or until wine has slightly reduced. Then add in both cans of tomatoes and seasonings. Once sauce starts bubbling, add in the parmesan cheese and stir together until it has melted. Reduce heat to a simmer and leave uncovered on the stovetop for approximately 1 1/2-2 hours, or until it has reduced and reached a thicker sauce stage. Serve over spaghetti or your favorite pasta.

spaghetti sauce 3spaghetti saucespaghetti sauce 2spaghetti sauce 5*This also freezes exceptionally well! So once it’s cooled, you can pop it into a plastic freezer container (even a gallon sized Ziploc freezer bag works great, but make sure to lay flat on top of something) and place in the freezer. I heart having this type of stuff already made and waiting for me in the freezer on those hectic days.

Chilaquiles

chilaquiles 2What’s your Saturday morning breakfast like? Well in my house, my husband wants something hearty and that typically involves meat. Unfortunately for him, we’ve had a couple of recent weekends that didn’t include breakfast meat. But I promised him I would make a delicious breakfast that would wipe out all longings for bacon or sausage or whatever his carnivore loving heart desired. Enter…….. Chilaquiles! A Mexican breakfast that doesn’t include meat but that is filling, hearty and full of flavor. And I promise this will curb your Saturday morning bacon craving. Impossible you say?!?! Make this recipe and see for yourself!

Chilaquiles

  • 1 c. canola or vegetable oil
  • 8 corn tortillas, cut into strips*
  • 1/2 of a large onion, sliced or 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1, 10 ounce can of diced tomatoes with chilies, drained
  • 1 small can diced green chilies (optional, but I really encourage you to use them)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 c. water

*Tortilla chips can be substituted. If using chips, skip the first step of frying tortillas.

In a large sauté pan, add oil and heat on medium high. When oil is nice and hot, add tortilla strips and fry for about 3 minutes or until crisp (like a chip). With a large slotted spoon, remove fried tortilla strips to a paper towel lined plate to drain.

Next, add the sliced onions into the still hot oil. Fry for approximately 30 seconds. Remove onions with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel lined plate. Remove sauté pan from heat.

Crack eggs into a bowl and with a fork or whisk, beat/scramble the eggs. Set aside.

Let oil cool down and then drain off all oil, except 2-3 tbsp. Turn the heat back on to medium. Add eggs and tortilla strips (or chips). Let cook for a minute, stirring. Then add in all of the rest of the ingredients, except for cheese. Cook for a few more minutes or until eggs are set. Turn off heat, stir in cheese and serve immediately.

chilaquiles 4chilaquiles 8chilaquiles 5chilaquiles 7chilaquiles 6chilaquiles 3chilaquilesOK, I have to tell you that my two favorite components to this dish are the fried onions and tortilla strips. The fried onions have a great flavor. I mean, they were fried in oil. And usually anything fried in oil is good. Second, the tortilla strips get a little soggy from all the liquid in the recipe but still retain this unique texture. And I love it!

So I think you can tell that I really liked this breakfast. But what did my husband think? Well of course he loved it or else I wouldn’t be putting it on my blog! So if you’ve got a Saturday morning, carnivore loving spouse like me, give them something new to try. I don’t think they’ll be disappointed.