Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Easy Peasy Pasta Sauce

Do you ever have those days where you want comfort food, but don't have the energy to put in to cooking it? Well I had this over the weekend and I had my Mom asking me to make dinner for the family too. I felt like I couldn't say no, yet I didn't want to put in hours cooking for the family. So, I went with an old standby - Spaghetti Sauce, pasta, crusty bread, salad and a nice bottle of wine!

First off, I got some fresh pasta - it cooks quickly (usually under 5 minutes) and is delicious. In this case, I used tortellini stuffed with chicken and cheese. Then I got a bag of salad - super easy and just enough for the family. I doctored up the salad with some carrots, mushrooms, cranberries and croutons and finished it with a blue cheese vinaigrette.When I was shopping for ingredients, I stopped to talk to the "Bakery Lady" at Safeway and she gave me a sample of their garlic-caramelized onion bread. It was crusty and delicious and I thought it would go well with pasta - so I bought a loaf. It also went very nicely with a bottle of Gnarly Head Zinfandel too!

So I normally make a meat sauce using ground beef, but I wanted to try something a little different and I used ground chicken instead. I thought that the chicken would also compliment the tortellini - I was right! So here is my very quick recipe for spaghetti sauce - please add or subtract whatever you like and remember, the longer it cooks the better it is!

Spaghetti Sauce
1.25 pounds ground chicken
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 cup Marsala wine (or water or chicken broth)
1, 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
1, 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1, 14.5 ounce can tomato sauce
1, 6 ounce can tomato paste
6-8 mushrooms, sliced
1 tablespoon oregano
1/2 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 tablespoon basil
salt & pepper to taste
  • Over medium high heat, brown the meat and drain the excess fat. Add the garlic and onion and cook until the onions are translucent.
  • Add all the other ingredients and turn the heat down to a simmer.
  • Cover and cook for at least an hour (I like to cook this all day)
If you don't use Marsala wine, you might need to add some sugar (1/2 tablespoon) to sweeten up the sauce.

Everything turned out wonderfully and I got credit for a home cooked meal! We also had enough for leftovers, so the sauce got to cook a bit more and bring out more of the flavors. Another deliciously, yummy meal!

1 comment: