This comfort classic has earned a top spot in our family's regular dinner rotation. It's easy and delicious, just put on some Andrea Bocelli and everyone can feel Italian for the night! My youngest loves to slurp up his long spaghetti noodles, definitely lacking some basic table manners, but hey - kids need to be kids sometimes! And teaching the kids to twirl their spaghetti with a fork and a spoon provides endless opportunities for family fun and laughs.
This recipe calls for a few more steps than simply opening up a jar of sauce and heating it up, and it's probably more work than your regular spaghetti sauce, but I promise you that the extra steps will be worth it. You will have a rich delicious sauce with a deep tomatoey flavour and the longer and slower it simmers, the more robust the flavours will become.
Spaghetti is a great menu choice for dinner parties or hosting a large family meal. I especially love that you can make this sauce in a crockpot to give you tons of flexibility with your time. We recently hosted 8 adults and 7 kids for dinner so I started making my sauce at lunchtime, put the lid on the crockpot and walked away, giving me tons of time to clean the house, shower, pick up a loaf of fresh bread and get my boys from school. No need to stay close to the stove and watch a pot bubble away at low heat for hours, no way! Let the crockpot take care of that for you, just remember to give it a quick stir once in awhile.
- 1 large can tomato purée or tomato sauce (not spaghetti sauce) 29 oz, 680 mL
- 1 large can crushed tomatoes 28 oz, 796 mL
- 1 large can diced Italian tomatoes 28 oz, 796 mL
- 1 small can tomato paste 6 oz, 156 mL
- 2 lbs, 900g lean ground beef
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 green bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms, sliced
- 1 small bunch spinach, chopped, approximately 1 cup
- 2 cloves of garlic crushed and minced or grated
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Parmesan cheese
- fresh basil leaves
- kosher salt
- crushed chilli peppers (optional)
1. Brown your ground beef in a frying pan and drain off the fat
2. While the beef is browning open the cans of tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, diced tomatoes and tomato paste. Pour them into your crockpot or into a large pot
3. Add ground beef to your sauce and add kosher salt and pepper to taste
4. Take your frying pan, you don't even need to wash it, just discard the beef fat, heat the pan, add olive oil and sauté the onion, peppers, mushrooms and garlic - but not the spinach! save the spinach for later
5. Add the vegetables to your tomato sauce
6. Deglaze your frying pan with a splash of wine, water or some tomato sauce from the pot and add to your sauce - there's a lot of great favour in the pan
7. Taste your sauce again and add salt and pepper as required
8. Set your crockpot to Low for three hours or simmer on low heat on the stove top for at least 20 minutes. The longer it simmers the more the flavours will meld together
9. Before you're ready to serve your meal, finely chop the fresh spinach and stir into the sauce (at the same time you boil the water for your pasta)
10. If your sauce has been simmering for hours it may reduce down and become thicker than you would like, just boil some fresh water and add it to the sauce
11. Serve sauce over spaghetti noodles or you choice of pasta with fresh basil, parmesan cheese, ground black pepper and crushed chilli peppers for those who like it spicy!
Serve with a fresh salad and a loaf of rustic bread & butter!
* sautéing your vegetables instead of popping fresh vegetables into your spaghetti sauce browns the vegetables giving them depth as you layer the flavours in the sauce
** I add the fresh spinach at the end because it's so delicate. It will wilt down in the hot sauce yet maintain its beautiful green colour. If you add it early on in the cooking process it's not a big deal - but it will turn a dark green colour
Makes approximately 20 cups of sauce
Have a great day and Love Good Food! ❤️
Nutrition values for 1 cup of spaghetti sauce prepared with a generous 1.5 tbsp kosher salt in the pot of sauce. Cooking with less salt will lower the amount of sodium per serving.
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Wife, mother and pilot, with a passion for good food.