Thursday, September 17, 2009

Spaghetti with Meat, Mushroom and Black Olive Sauce

Aren't they cute, the mushrooms and olives hangin' out with the tomatoes and garlic?

Since I found that a decent spaghetti sauce can be made right at home without specialty home-grown spices and vegetables thanks to my Better Homes & Gardens cookbook, I haven't bought ANY Prego. It's seems almost criminal how I haven't re-succumbed to the Almighty Prego, a regular staple when I was growing up. Sure, Mom jazzed it up with cheeses, spices and whatever else, but essentially Prego was King: the basis of all good spaghetti sauces.

This time around, after having the BH&G sauce regularly, I decided to get a little wild. Even more than when I haphazardly threw in spinach. I had mushrooms left from a salad I was going to make and there was a half-can of olives left from Rodney's chips-and-whatever-else-he-could-find-that-would-go-with-chips lunch.

Spaghetti with Meat, Mushroom and Black Olive Sauce

1 c chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1.25 lb ground beef
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 14.5-oz cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1/3 c water
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried marjoram
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
8 oz black olives, chopped
8 oz button mushrooms, chopped
8 oz dried spaghetti
Parmesan cheese (optional)

In a large, deep skillet cook onion, garlic and ground beef in hot oil until meat is brown. Drain fat.

Stir the tomato, tomato paste, water, parsley, herbs, sugar, salt, and black pepper in same skillet; mix beef into tomatoes. Bring to boiling; reduce heat.

Simmer, covered, for 30 minutes.

Uncover, add olives and mushrooms; mix them into the sauce.

Simmer for 10 to 15 minutes more or to desired consistency, stirring occasionally.

Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Serve sauce over hot cooked pasta. If desired, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.

Rodney and I liked the sauce with the olives and 'shrooms. I was afraid it would turn out salty or the vegetables would be all mushy, but it wasn't and they weren't! I'm not sure, but I think the acidity was reduced. Hmm. Maybe I could use this concoction toward another stab at lasagna?

Cost estimate:

  • add mushrooms and olives to my original estimate =$6+$3+$1
Total: $10 or $2 for each of 5 servings.

I'll certainly remember this. And maybe I'll throw some other stuff in there next time, like carrots. Those extras just make it more healthy and don't really add any time?