When you've got only 30 minutes and zero energy to prepare dinner, lean on this old favorite. It's the easiest homemade meat sauce recipe you'll ever find, and delicious too! To fill out the meal, serve with a side of steamed broccoli and garlic bread.
Spaghetti with Quick Meat Sauce
1 pound whole-wheat spaghetti
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large carrot, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
1 pound lean (90% or leaner) ground beef
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A dash of crushed red pepper (optional)
1. Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is beginning to brown, 5 to 8 minutes.
3. Stir in garlic and Italian seasoning; cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add beef and cook, stirring and breaking up with a spoon, until no longer pink, 3 to 5 minutes. Increase heat to high. Stir in tomatoes and cook until thickened, 4 to 6 minutes. Stir in parsley and salt.
4. Serve the sauce over the pasta, sprinkled with cheese.
You can try replacing some of the beef with pork or chicken sausage for richer flavor.
Cover and refrigerate for up to 3 days, or freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months.
Make sure to buy high-quality whole wheat spaghetti (or use regular); the stronger flavor of cheap whole wheat pastas can overpower the sauce.
Recipe adapted from Eating Well