Fall seems to be the busiest time of year for me. My favorite non-profits start a new season of activities, French Class stars up again and work gets a little more hectic. When I get home after a long day/evening out, sometimes I want a nice home cooked relatively healthy meal. One of my easy go to meals on days like this is a simple Tomato Meat Sauce for pasta. I usually make a very large batch once or twice a year and package them into smaller (single, double or triple) serving contains. I then freeze these containers and can have a nice home cooked meal with little notice. I’m not delusional – I know pasta isn’t all that healthy, but I eat it in moderation an know exactly what goes into it.
Saturday night I made a huge double portion of my Homemade Tomato Meat Pasta Sauce. My Le Creuset nearly wasn’t big enough. Here is my recipe (which is actually a combination of a few different bolognese sauces and simple tomato sauces):
- 1/4 Cup of Olive Oil
- 4 Celery Stalks, Diced
- 2 Carrots, Peeled and Diced
- 2 Medium Yellow Onions, Diced
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Pressed
- 2.5 Pounds Ground Beef (80/20), cooked with fat drained
- 4 28 Ounce Cans of Good Diced Tomatoes (no herbs added)
- 2 6 Ounce Cans of Tomato Paste
- 1.5 Teaspoon Dried Oregano
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Once you are fully prepared, start by heating your biggest stock pot (with this recipe, you’ll need a pot that holds at least 28 cups) with the Olive Oil. Once the oil is hot, add the celery, carrots and onions. Cook until the celery, carrots and onions are soft and aromatic – about 8-10 minutes.
- Add the Garlic and cook for 2 minutes until aromatic.
- Add the Cooked Beef (again, make sure the fat is trained) and the Diced Tomatoes.
- Add the Salt and Pepper to taste.
- Bring this to a boil and add the Tomato Paste. I love Tomatoes — adding two cans of Paste really kicks up the Tomato Flavor. If you want less Tomato Flavor (WHY?) then only use one can of Paste.
- Add the Oregano and reduce the heat and cover. Simmer the sauce for about 30 minutes.
- After 30 minutes taste the sauce. Does it need more pepper? More Oregano? More Salt. Adjust to your tastes.