Everyone in our family really likes spaghetti (well, except my husband) but we never seem to *quite* agree on which brand of sauce we like best. Some are too bland, some too sour, others too tomato-y, and my teen chimes in with “no, not the one with the green things in it (green peppers), it makes me sick!”, and so on. Well, we happen to have a bunch of tomatoes in our fridge so I decided to try and make my own using spaghetti sauce using a recipe from www.recipezaar.com called “Bev’s Spaghetti Sauce” (recipe #26217). And I gotta say, it was super easy to make and EVERYONE agreed that is was a keeper, even my husband! Any meal where all 5 of us are pleased is definitely a keeper, and if you have a large family as well then you know what I’m talking about.
I do think it is more cost effective to make it yourself, though it really depends on what you would normally buy as the prices vary so much between different brands. For us, we usually gravitate towards Classico or Neuman’s Own, which is about $3.00 – $3.50 a jar. Each jar contains about 3 cups of sauce, so this recipe makes about 3 jars worth, give or take. Not counting the ground beef (as I would normally add that to a jarred sauce as well), the ingredients for the recipe below cost about 1/2 the amount of buying the prepared jarred sauces. The 50% savings of making it myself would be enough of a reason for me to keep doing this, but the real beauty of this recipe is how EASY it is to make, give it a try!
Freezing Tip: Portion the sauce into silicone muffin tins (which is about a single serving) and freeze. Once they are solid you can pop them out and place them in a ziploc bag and back into the freezer.
The recipe below has a couple adjustments that I made, to suit our taste. This doubles easily, just make sure to use a large stock pot.
Spaghetti Sauce recipe (makes about 10 cups):
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 a medium onion-chopped
- 1 Tbls olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves-minced or pressed
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/2 tsp dry red pepper flakes
- 1 (6 oz) can of tomato paste
- 1 (16 oz) can of tomato sauce
- 1 (28 oz) can of diced tomatoes, or the equivalent in freshly diced tomatoes (we used Roma tomatoes)
- In a large pot over medium heat add the olive oil and garlic, saute for 1 minute. Add in the ground beef and the next 7 ingredients (all of the spices) and cook until the beef is no longer pink.
- Add in the last 3 ingredients, stir well and then cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes.