I grew up with the high standards of my mom’s spaghetti sauce. Every year (as long as I can remember), she spends a full day making enormous batches of spaghetti sauce that will last us all year. I associate so many childhood memories to my mom’s pasta. It was so simple, yet completely comforting. It was also my dad’s meal of choice when he was in charge of making a nice dinner. When we wanted to get fancy, we’d sprinkle cheese on top and bake it for an extra layer of goodness.
My mom shared her sauce recipe with me but it was such a huge recipe that I was too intimidated to try it. I finally have it a shot months ago, by largely reducing the quantities and the result was darn close to her original recipe.
Recently, I came up with a simpler and quite delicious version. Something you can make just before dinner, rather than through an entire day of hard labor. 🙂 It is full of flavor, yet very easy to make and to modify, based on what you have on hand. It’s also a very cheap recipe to make, especially if the ground beef is on sale.
Simple Bolognese Sauce
You could easily add more vegetables to this sauce. This is the simplest version.
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1/2 large onion (or 1 small onion), diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 lb of ground beef
- 1 green bell pepper, diced
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 4 celery stalks, diced
- 1 large can of crushed tomatoes
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- Dash of Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Italian seasonings
- Salt & Pepper to taste
- In a dutch oven or large saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat.
- Add the onion and garlic. Cook until the become fragrant and onions are almost transparent, stirring regularly.
- Add the beef and cook until mostly browned.
- Add the carrots, celery and bell peppers. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring regularly.
- Add the tomato sauce, crushed tomatoes, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce. Optional: Add a can of water, depending on the thickness of sauce you prefer.
- Cover and cook on medium-low heat for at least 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are fully cooked. The longer you can let it simmer, the better.
- Serve on pasta or spiralized vegetables.
This sauce is hearty and perfect for the cooler fall weather. It freezes well for later use too. Depending on the size of your household, I’d recommend freezing it in a container that would provide enough for a meal. For example, I use small pyrex glass containers since it is just for me but you could use a larger container to be able to feed your entire family when thawing it.
This is always a good way to pair the sauce with spiralized vegetables. I personally love bolognese with butternut squash “noodles”. On the picture below, I mixed zucchini and butternut squash “noodles” to serve with the sauce.
This is comfort food at its best, folks!