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Monday, November 14, 2011

Mom Chef's Pasta Sauce

My friend the MomChef is a master at finding wonderful recipes.  I really don't want to count the number of recipes I have to try.  Nor do I want to know the number that are from her blog.  If I've not said it before, here it is:  I could pretty much just cook from her blog.  It's that good.  The other day, she posted this incredibly easy recipe.  It reminded me of two things. 

First was when I was in my early twenties and lived in Fort Wayne, IN.  I was recently divorced and was working three jobs to make ends meet.  They still didn't meet very well so I was VERY frugal when it came to my grocery bill.  One of the things I did was sign up for some club where we tested products.  One of the products I was sent was Kraft Spaghetti Dinner.  Now, most of us bloggers are folks who try to cook everything from scratch.  Even now, though, there are times that a box mix is a wonderful thing. 

So, I received the box mix of spaghetti and the instructions said to combine the sauce mix with a can of tomato paste and a couple of cans of water.  Viola - number two!  The barbecue sauce my father used to make.  The base was tomato paste and water.  He died when I was 21 so I never really had the opportunity to learn a lot of his cooking secrets.  I'd remembered opening the can of tomato paste but couldn't put the rest of it together until I received that box mix. 

Now, Christiane's sauce had less than a can of tomato sauce in the paste.  It also had no red wine.  Red sauce in my house has red wine in it.  The box mix uses a whole can of tomato paste.  And, I really hate all those frozen blobs of tomato paste.  You know where this is going, don't you???  Yup, I made Christiane's sauce and doctored it up with some red wine.  Fine.  A lot of red wine.  I'd opened a bottle thinking that even though Connie didn't feel wonderful, he'd want a glass.  Nope.  No wine for hubby.  More for the spaghetti sauce.  I also had some mushrooms that needed to be used up.  So, into the sauce they went...

What did we think?  I munched on leftovers for breakfast.  We shared the rest of the leftovers for lunch the next day.  This was super easy and super flavorful. 

Christiane's Pasta Sauce


9 oz pasta (the original recipe called for fresh linguine, I used dried farfallini)
1/2 lb extra lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
6 oz mushrooms, chopped
1 T garlic, minced
1 t dried oregano
1 t Italian seasoning
1/4 t salt
4 oz can tomato paste
1 1/2 c red wine (cabernet is great)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/2 c finely grated romano cheese (more for serving)
1 T fresh flat-leaf parsley


Start the water for the pasta.  In a large skillet, saute the onion with a little oil.  Add the ground beef and brown and drain it.  Add the garlic, oregano, Italian seasoning, salt, tomato paste, wine and tomatoes.  Simmer for about 15 minutes.  While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta.  Before serving the sauce, toss in the 1/2  cheese and stir well.  Serve topped with chopped parsley and more grated cheese.

adapted from MomChef, originally from Cooking Light 


Gina said...

This does sound great, see why you tried it. I do love your executive decision to add the wine. My ratio is one cup for the sauce, one cup for me, lol. Hope you are having a great week my dear.

The Mom Chef said...

Thanks for including my name in here Kate! This was a great Cooking Light recipe and adding wine is the perfect modification. I'll be at your place by dinner, ok? :)