March 22, 2010

Why I Love: Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

There's something about the way that spaghetti sauce tastes when scratch ingredients all cook down together that makes it the perfect comfort homemade comfort food. There are certainly numerous varieties of bottled sauce that taste good alone, and I use them for a quick meal, particularly over prepared ravioli or on pizza. But in my book, if you're going to take the time to brown meat and/or add additional veggies and spices, you might as well just start with plain canned tomatoes and allow a little extra time for the flavors to meld for a fresh, superior taste.

We've always made this beefy recipe at winter family gatherings (or at least since I got over my tragic albeit temporary childhood dislike of red sauces). It delights my taste buds on a cold day along with the required accompaniment of buttery garlic bread. It makes enough for a crowd but also freezes well if you're not planning to have a spaghetti party. 

2 lbs. hamburger meat
1 onion
4 stalks celery
1 green pepper
3 cloves garlic
2 big cans tomatoes
1 little can tomato paste
2 bay leaves
Oregano, to taste
Salt, to taste
Brown hamburger meat. Chop onion, celery, green pepper and garlic; cook vegetable in skillet with olive oil or grease from meat until softened. Combine meat, cooked vegetables, canned tomatoes and spices in a large pot. Cook for 2 hours.

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