Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hearty Pasta Sauce

Spaghetti is a main-stay in most households and ours is no different.  It's the first dish to be put on our weekly menu.  We always have it with Poppy Seed Garlic Bread .  I start with a jarred sauce to save on time since spaghetti is usually the dinner I save for nights when we are a bit rushed.  Look for a jar with ingredients you would use at home and no high fructose corn syrup.  I usually use a mushroom or Italian garden variety to get more veggies into my kiddos.  Sometimes we add in a can of kidney in place of or in addition to the meat.

2 jars marinara sauce
1 package pasta in your favorite shape
1 lb. ground beef, turkey or italian sausage
1 can kidney beans rinsed and drained (optional)
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian Seasoning

Brown the meat and onions in a large sauce pan.  Drain.  Add garlic and Italian seasoning, sauteeing 1-2 more minutes.  Add sauce and beans if you're using them and simmer on low for 20 mins.  Meanwhile cook the pasta according to the package directions in salted water.  It's important to salt your pasta water because this is the only time you can season pasta and have it actually absorb the flavor.  I've even heard of chefs that take a spoonful of the pasta sauce and stir it into the cooking water to add more flavor.  If you try this, let me know what you think!

Serve sauce over hot pasta with bread and Caesar salad.

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