Homemade Spaghetti Sauce has always been a challenge for me in the kitchen. Nothing has stacked up to my favorite jarred version. I never could figure out what that the missing ingredient was. This time, I combined a few different recipes, with the addition of some new ingredients = Perfection!
Seriously. I remember doing like 2-3 taste tests from the pot thinking, this is delicious. Who even needs pasta noodles? I wanted to just slice up my freshly baked Dutch Crunch bread and dunk in a bowl of sauce.
I know everyone will have their own personal preference for pasta sauce, but for me, this happened to be my personal favorite and I’ll definitely be making again. However, I encourage everyone to play around when cooking. Eventually, you will come up with a flavor combination that you love. And the best part…I knew every single ingredient that went into it vs. the jarred stuff.
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped/divided (roughly 2 cups)
- 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
- 2 large or 3 medium sized carrots, peeled, coarsely chopped
- 1 lb. to 1-1/2 lb. ground beef
- 6 cloves of garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional, if you like spicy)
- 1 (12 oz) can tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 teaspoons dried oregano
- 5 teaspoons dried basil
- 2 (14 oz each) cans Italian Style diced tomatoes (do not drain)
- 1 (28 oz) cans crushed tomatoes
- 1 (8 oz) container fresh mushrooms (optional)
- 1-1/2 cups beef stock/broth
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- A rind of a Parmesan Wedge
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add half of the onions and sauté until translucent and slightly browned. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, stir continuously for 1-2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer red. Drain grease slightly.
- In a food processor, add remaining onions, carrots, and red pepper and process until smooth. Add mixture to the meat pan. Stir to combine. Cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Add tomato paste and spices and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, beef broth, sugar, and mushrooms (see tip below on how I pre-cook my mushrooms – optional). Stir until combined. Add bay leaves.
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2-3 hours, stir occasionally. After an hour cooking, add rind from wedge of Parmesan (or grated Parmesan or even both!) 30 Minutes before serving, stir in balsamic vinegar.
- Discard bay leaves and parmesan rind before serving.
- Makes: Forgot to measure out, but my husband and I love extra sauce on our pasta. I would say it made a good amount for 8 people.
- Feel free to adjust seasonings, for your own personal preference.
Tip #1: Make and Freeze! Or store in refrigerator up to three days in advance.
Tip #2: Before throwing in mushrooms into the sauce, sauté them in 3-4 TBSP butter. Be sure not to overcrowd the pan! Otherwise, it will create steam and make your mushrooms squishy. As you are sautéing, sprinkle with a little garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. When they have a nice golden sauté color, turn off heat. Set aside until you are ready to put them within your sauce.
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