It’s Sunday!  And this is the perfect meal for a Sunday night!  However, it’s 3:20 and I am just now starting this, so by the time I finish it and post it, it’ll be too late to plan to make tonight.  So maybe you can make this next Sunday… or just any other day, it doesn’t have to be Sunday.

Sometimes I get tired of jarred spaghetti sauce.  I’ve managed to find a couple that we really like and tend to stick to, but every once and awhile we’ll live on the wild side and get something different.  And even less frequently, I’ll make it at home.  Spaghetti used to be one of our go-to meals, especially in the winter, but we haven’t been eating it quite as much (probably because it’s the last thing I want to eat when it’s 104 outside) because we have been trying not to eat much meat, especially red meat.  But, I couldn’t remember the last time we ate spaghetti, so I decided it was time.

The spaghetti sauce I make is essentially the same sauce I make for both lasagna and mostaccioli, only I don’t add any water.  I think it’s a really delicious sauce and luckily, it doesn’t require a whole lot of extra work!

All you need is a jar each of tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste,  some chopped onion, a little seasoning and of course, meat and pasta!

You start by sauteing the onion and then adding the meat to brown.  Mix in the tomato paste (I always think it’s easier to mix it in before adding the sauce and diced tomatoes) and then add the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes.  Mix that all together and sprinkle in your seasonings and then you let your sauce simmer for about 5-10 minutes.  Like I said, it’s really not that hard!

I love this sauce on spaghetti.  I think it’s great by itself like that.  As I said before though, this is the sauce I use in my lasagna and mostaccioli.  If you do that, you just need to add about 1 can’s worth of water so the pasta has something to soak up.  For lasagna, you simply layer sauce, lasagna noodles, ricotta and mozzarella.  For mostaccioli, it’s even easier!  You layer sauce, pasta and mozzarella!  I love all three dishes using this sauce.  It’s very flavorful and it’s something that I like to make when I’m really in the mood for cooking, but don’t want to get too crazy!

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 4-6 servings (4 big servings or 6 small ones)

1- 14.5oz can of tomato sauce
1- 14.5oz can of diced tomatoes
2-3 tablespoons of tomato paste
1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/4 yellow onion, diced
1 pound ground beef
Garlic powder and Italian seasonings to taste (I did about 1 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning… I think.  You can also use a couple fresh garlic cloves, finely chopped)
Enough pasta for however many people you are serving.  I’m very bad at figuring out how much to make, so you can figure this out on your own!

Cook pasta according to directions on package.  Drain and set aside.

In a large, deep skillet, saute the onions in  the olive oil.  Cook on medium heat until onions start to get transparent.  If you are using fresh garlic, add it at this time and saute for only an extra minute.  Add the ground beef and cook until it is no longer pink.  Add the tomato paste and mix until pretty well combined.  The mixture will be gloppy, but it’s ok because… next you add the tomato sauce!  I like to add it slowly so I can get it mixed pretty evenly.  Once that is thoroughly mixed together, add the diced tomatoes.  Stir a little bit more and sprinkle in your seasonings.  Carefully stir everything and let it simmer on low-medium heat for 5-10 minutes.  Check your seasonings, add salt and pepper if needed.  Simmer for another minute.  Serve over pasta and, of course, with garlic bread!

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