I had an incredibly lazy Sunday. So lazy, in fact, I never even got dressed! As I sit on the couch writing this, I’m wearing the same pajamas I had on this morning, and it is good.
I made the decision at the grocery store yesterday that I was in the mood to make truly homemade meat sauce for a couple dinners and to freeze for later use. Now mind you, when I say “truly homemade”, I still use cans of tomatoes, as the tomatoes in this area are fairly lousy (read: not red) this time of year, but hey, I open the cans myself!
Mara’s Meat Sauce
2 lbs lean ground beef
1 large onion, minced
1 large green pepper, minced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 32-oz. cans crushed tomatoes
1 32 oz tomato sauce
the following are to taste, but measurements are what I used:
1 Tbsp. dried oregano
2 Tbsp. dried basil
1 tsp. black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
2 bay leaves
In a large pot, heat the olive oil. When it is hot, add the garlic, onions, and green pepper, and sautee until onions and garlic are transluscent. Add the ground beef and brown thoroughly, breaking up into small pieces. Add tomatoes, herbs, and spices to taste. Reduce heat, stir well, cover and simmer at least 1 hour, up to 3 hours. Continually taste and adjust seasonings. Uncover, and simmer another 20 minutes or so, stirring every few minutes. Serve over pasta or polenta with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
I’m quite proud of myself! This came out as good, if not better, than most meat sauces I’ve had in restaurants, and I know that it’s good for me. I used 93% lean ground beef, and only 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, so I tasted the vegetables and meat rather than loads of oil.
*A side note: The green striped bowl I ate my pasta out of was my grandmother’s, and I grew up calling them “surprise” bowls. She would serve us things in these shallow bowls, and we didn’t know which flowers were printed on the bottom, hence the surprise. When she passed, I got these bowls, and plan on telling my future children about the “surprise” at the bottom of the bowl.*