Spaghetti Sauce is Better Fresh

In my quest to overhaul my families diet, one of the very first things I chose to tackle was Spaghetti Sauce.  It’s one of my families favorite go to meals, but I had never tried to forgo the bottled stuff and make home-made before.  (if I haven’t mentioned it before, I am very um -let’s just say the kitchen is not my natural habitat- and any success in this area is a HUGE victory for me)  But I was amazed at how easy this was.  I have decided that stove-top cooking is my thing.  At first, I would add a couple of tablespoons of sugar, to match the taste of the store-bought brands, then gradually I decreased the amount until  I fully weaned them off the added sugar.  Now, I get the highest compliment of them asking for home-made, even my oldest when inviting friends over for diner says “Can you make some of your Healthy Spaghetti sauce?”  🙂

Shard’s Simple Marinara type sauce to use with all sorts of things….

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Ingredients

  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I like the petite diced) or fresh tomatoes, chopped to make almost 2 cups
  • 1 tbsp. coconut or olive oil
 (not needed if cooking with hamburger)
  • 1 Tablespoon onion, diced
 (fresh or dried)
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper, if desired, to taste
  • clove garlic, minced, or dried garlic, as available
- to taste (I am very light with this, for the benefit of sensitive stomachs)
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes if desired
  • ¾ tsp. dried Italian seasoning  (mostly Thyme, with a little Oregano, and Basil
)

Directions

Heat the oil in a large cast iron (or non-stick) skillet over medium heat.  Add the onion, salt, and pepper and garlic to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally till tender.  Mix in the tomatoes, and seasonings and cook just until fragrant, and heated through (for fresh tomatoes, cook a bit longer till skin starts to wrinkle)

Spaghetti with Veggies
Additional Ingredients

  • 2 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1/2 cup summer squash or zuchini, diced
  • 1/4 C shredded cabbage or broccoli slaw if desired
  • 1 lb, Hamburger (or other meat, such as ground or canned turkey, as available)
  • Spaghetti noodles (figure a bunch of dry noodles about the thickness of your thumb for every person)

Directions
Start the water for the noodles first/ add the noodles when the water is boiling. Cook about 10 minutes, till tender.
While noodles are cooking; brown the hamburger, make the marinara sauce in the same pan, adding  the veggies at the onion stage, cook it all together till tender- continue as directed.  Serve over noodles.

(note–there are some great GF noodles now available, my family especially likes the qinoa and corn versions, but they need LOTS more stirring)

Variation– serve over buns for Sloppy Joes!

Skillet Lasagna
Additional Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Italian sausage, crumbled or  ground turkey, or ground beef
  • 10 curly-edged lasagna noodles, broken into 2-inch lengths
  • ¾ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 
¾ cup ricotta cheese
3 tbsp. minced fresh basil (optional)

Brown the meat and make the sauce without the vegetables.   Scatter the lasagna noodles in the skillet.  Increase the heat to medium-high and cover.  Let cook at a vigorous simmer, stirring often, until the pasta is nearly tender, add any desired veggies, finish cooking till pasta is tender (about 20 mins.)
When the pasta is tender, turn heat down to med.  Stir in cheeses.  Cook until the cheese is bubbling, about 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, sprinkle with basil and serve.

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