Friday, May 13, 2011

What's for supper? Diner-style spaghetti sauce

Last night's dinner menu:

Diner-Style Spaghetti Sauce, with wholegrain spaghettini
Green salad with apples and sunflower seeds
Canned green beans

Peanut-butter-cereal squares

I know there are lots and lots and lots of recipes for spaghetti sauce, so who needs another one?. But this is something I adapted from the Hillbilly Housewife's Easy Seasoned Italian Sauce, and the way it came out reminded me of the way one of our favourite diner-style restaurants makes their spaghetti. More American-style than authentic Italian; but still good. It tastes like spaghetti and meatballs, only with broken-up meatballs, if that makes sense.

Mama Squirrel's Diner-Style Spaghetti Sauce
 1 lb. ground beef
About a cupful of sliced mushrooms (optional)
1 28-oz. can diced no-salt tomatoes, undrained (you can substitute two cups of homemade tomato puree)
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbsp. dried onion flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. oregano
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
One or two slices slightly dried (or toasted) bread, diced (optional--my kids didn't like this addition as much as I did, so I have been leaving it out)
Fresh parsley, chopped and added near the end (optional but pretty)
Hot pasta, Parmesan cheese, etc. for serving

Brown the ground beef, breaking up the meat as it cooks; add the mushrooms just before it's finished browning, and let them cook a few minutes. Drain the fat if necessary. Add all remaining ingredients except for the bread, and simmer until slightly thickened and it smells good. I added the diced bread near the end because I thought the sauce was still a bit liquid; it turned out to be a good addition (don't overdo it, though). Parsley too, if you have some (I just grabbed a bit from the garden).  Serve over hot spaghetti.

We had quite a bit left over (I never know where to stop with spaghetti), so tonight we're having Spaghetti Pie.

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