I think it's pretty evident that my go-to quick meal is pasta. It's so simple that even Thatboy can help prepare it. Well, he can boil the water for me. Preparing the pasta is still a little beyond his skill set. And while I'm quite happy with a steaming bowl of pasta, some version of sauce, and fresh cheese (goat, parmesean, mozzarella), Thatboy usually questions where our protein is. Mostly because growing up, pasta was always spaghetti. And spaghetti was always accompanied with meat sauce. (And we're all familiar with my thoughts on that sauce)
My meat sauce takes its inspiration from my mother's best friend. They've been best friends since they were teenagers, having met at summer camp. And though we keep moving farther and farther away, their friendship continues. There was a period of time when my mother and I would take trips back to "the old country" to visit my mom's family. Sometimes we stayed with her friend. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and watching as the two of them polished off a bottle of wine, laughing, and stirring a pot of bubbling sauce on the stovetop. You see, in Brooklyn, you were either Jewish or Italian (or both). Mom's friend was as Italian as you could get. She passed on her sauce secrets to my mom, who in turn passed them on to me. The secret to perfect sauce is the addition of ground sausage. Unfortunately, while I have ground pork, veal, turkey, and beef in my freezer, there is no ground sausage. So this meat sauce isn't my best ever, but it's good enough to keep in the freezer beside the homemade marinara. And there's meat in it, so it makes Thatboy oh so happy.
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 can whole plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 1 can tomato paste
- 1/4 cup red wine
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 Tbsp Italian seasoning
- Brown garlic and onion in oil in large saucepan over medium heat.
- Add beef and cook until browned.
- Stir in the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover.
- Cook for 1 hour, stirring occassionally.