Some things just remind you of home…
Growing up in the kitchen, my mom always had something cooking that would fill the house with the most delicious scents. One of my favorite things was walking downstairs to catch a whiff of this homemade spaghetti sauce. This sauce was also one of the first recipes I asked for when I was out of the house and cooking on my own. The first time I made it (ALL by myself) I was absolutely elated at how it turned out.
Of course, it wasn’t quite as good as my mom’s. She must use a secret ingredient (mom love) that I haven’t been able to master. Yet.
Homemade spaghetti sauce is SO easy to make and kicks any jarred sauce’s little tomato butt. It’s more time consuming than popping-a-top on your favorite go-to sauce, but it makes the WORLD of difference. I normally like to make one (or two!) batches on a Sunday afternoon and portion out the sauce in containers to freeze for an easy weeknight dinner.
Alright, are you ready? I’m going to give you a few tricks on how to get a super flavorful, well seasoned pot of sauce. Some people think the magic happens at the end, but those people would be wrong! Well, not wrong- per se- but I’ve got a different way.
When you finish sautéing the garlic and onions together so they’re golden brown (not burnt) and you’ve added the tomato paste- now the REAL magic gets to happen.
Grind the dried herbs in between the palms of your hands and let them fall into the pot with the tomato paste mixture. By grinding, you’re releasing oils in the herbs and enhancing their natural flavor. Add salt and pepper and mix well. Since you’ve seasoned the base of the sauce in the beginning- all the flavors can simmer together in sauce harmony for the next few hours.
One of the best things about making your own homemade sauce, is you get to smell the goodness coming together right there in your very own kitchen. One of the worst things about making your own homemade sauce is you have to wait until the sauce is complete before diving in for a gigantic bowl of spaghetti!! YUM.
If you choose to leave out the beef in this recipe, you can use this sauce anywhere that calls for a marinara sauce. It just won’t have the chunks of tomatoes but will be equally as scrumptious. Again, easy weeknight planning.
This recipe is a very close to me and I love that now I get to share it with you. What are some of your favorite recipes from your childhood?
- ½ small onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, diced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 6oz tomato paste
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp (heaping) dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 64 oz Campbell's tomato juice
- ½- 1 lb ground chuck, browned and drained
- In a large pot, sauté onions in olive oil over medium-high heat for approximately 4 minutes
- Add garlic and sauté an additional 2 minutes until garlic is fragrant
- Stir in tomato paste
- Add dried oregano, dried basil, salt and pepper to tomato paste and mix well
- Pour in tomato juice and reduce heat to a low simmer
- Simmer sauce for 1 hour, uncovered
- Add ground chuck to sauce and mix
- Taste for seasonings
- Serve over your favorite pasta