I think I’ve already spoken about my husband-to-be’s slight obsession with spaghetti. He loves it, which means we tend to frequent Olive Garden and other local Italian restaurants. It also means that about once a month, he makes a huge batch of sauce and happily eats leftovers for the rest of the week. Yesterday was one of those days… except this time we really outdid ourselves. After buying a massive can of crushed tomatoes at Sam’s Club, we very ambitiously decided to use half of it in our sauce and make an even bigger pot than usual. The outcome? Let’s just say we have a huge chef’s pot of sauce in the fridge because they don’t seem to make a tupperware container big enough for Spencer’s enthusiasm toward spaghetti sauce. (Don’t worry, the recipe below is half of the crazy amount we made!)
We used to be Prego people; Heart Smart, “flavored with meat,” Chunky Garden, we loved them all. And I’m not trying to knock Prego by any means. It’s good stuff. The only thing I’ll say is that once you try this homemade, fresh spaghetti sauce, you’ll be hooked!
HOMEMADE FRESH SPAGHETTI SAUCE
Prep time: 15 minutes — Cook time: 1 hour
1 lb. ground chicken
1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp minced garlic
3/4 cup white wine
28 oz. crushed tomatoes
12 oz. tomato paste (we used the Italian style)
1. Brown the ground chicken in a skillet, crumbling it as you go. (The awesome sale price and a desire to cut back on fat pushed us to try ground chicken, but you could use our usual ground beef or even ground turkey!)
2. In a sauce pot, drizzle in a little extra virgin olive oil and heat to medium heat. Then throw in the onion and bell pepper and saute until the veggies get soft. Add your garlic and saute a little more.
4. Once the wine has reduced, you can add the crushed tomatoes and tomato paste, stirring everything together until you have a nice thick, hearty sauce.
5. Add a little (or a lot, it’s totally up to you) of your spices. We generally use oregano and Italian seasoning, but you can use thyme, salt, garlic salt, whatever tastes right to you!
6. Stir in your browned meat and check the consistency. If you have a chunky, very saucy sauce, you’ll probably need to add a little water (between 1/2 and 1 cup) to your pot, so all the liquid doesn’t evaporate. Turn the sauce down to a simmer and cover it for an hour or so, stirring every now and then to keep it from sticking to the bottom of your pot. Make sure you give it enough time to really let the flavors combine into one yummy sauce!
7. Is the hour up? Does it look wonderfully amazing and smell amazingly wonderful? Then you’ve done it! You’ve made fresh homemade spaghetti sauce that you can boast about. Load it up on your favorite noodles (I love angel hair!) and enjoy!
A quick note about the ground chicken: If you decide to go the lean route that we did, note that it might take a little extra work to make the chicken crumble the way ground beef does when it’s browned. Just give it some extra attention, and the outcome is great!