Eating Together

Weeknight Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Recipe

0 Comments 21 October 2012

Have you ever made a dish from scratch dozens of times, but it is a new creation every time? For many, that dish is spaghetti and meat sauce. You never work from a particular homemade spaghetti recipe and always experiment with new ingredients. On weekends, this iterative process can be relaxing, but weeknights call for quick and easy recipes.


Weeknight Spaghetti and Meat Sauce


Over time, you may have learned that a good base for spaghetti and meat sauce consists of crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Well-spiced lean ground beef or ground turkey is always well-received. Angel hair pasta keeps it light. With a light crispy bread on the side, fresh basil {from the garden} and grated parmesan are the perfect finishing touches for spaghetti and meat sauce.

So, going into the kitchen with our tried and true ingredients, this is the recipe that materialized:

Weeknight Spaghetti and Meat Sauce

(Serves 6-8 people)

Main Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil*

½ onion, finely diced*

1 clove minced garlic*

1 pound lean ground beef*

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground black pepper (or to taste)

1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes*

1 (7 ounce) jar tomato paste*


For Sauce:

2 teaspoons dried oregano*

1 tablespoon course ground garlic

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil*

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or to taste)

optional: 1 pinch ground cinnamon


¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped*

½ cup grated parmesan cheese


1 (16-oz) package angel hair pasta, cooked until al dente and drained well*

Note: To make pasta easier for children to eat, break into quarters. This may shorten the necessary boiling time.


*organic ingredient used


Organic Spaghetti and Meat Sauce Ingredients


In large skillet, warm olive oil over low heat. Add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is transparent. Be careful not to brown the garlic.

Add ground beef and increase to medium heat. Brown the beef until no longer pink. Drain excess liquid.

Add ground cumin. Season with salt and ground black pepper to taste. Lower heat and stir for 2-3 minutes.


Easy Weeknight Spaghetti Simmer


Add crushed tomatoes and tomato paste. Stir well to combine.

Add dried oregano, course ground garlic, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add crushed red pepper to taste. Stir well to combine.

Let simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Add cooked pasta. Stir well to combine. Garnish with fresh basil and grated parmesan; serve warm.


Fresh Basil Finely Chopped


Tip: To bring out the aroma and beauty of fresh basil, take 4-5 leaves, stack evenly, roll together lengthwise, and slice thinly. This creates lovely uniform pieces of sweet smelling basil.


Crisp Tomato Basil Parmesan Bread

(makes 16 pieces)


4 pre-sliced multi-grain sandwich rounds, cut in half and opened to make quarters

1 tablespoon Johnny’s Garlic Spread and Seasoning or favorite garlic bread seasoning

3 tablespoons olive oil

¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped

½ cup grape tomatoes, sliced or chopped

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Line toaster oven cooking sheet with foil. Place each quarter facing up on cooking sheet.

Mix oil and garlic seasoning. Paint garlic spread onto top of each quarter with basting brush.

Place tomatoes evenly on bread. Sprinkle with fresh basil and grated parmesan evenly to garnish.

Place in toaster oven and toast 6-8 minutes until golden brown around the edges. Finished bread will be crisp.


To make weeknights even easier, prepare a batch (or two) of Weeknight Spaghetti and Meat Sauce on the weekend and freeze it. Then you have it on hand any time you need a quick meal during the week. Within minutes, you can add it to freshly cooked pasta and serve alongside the toaster oven Crisp Tomato Basil Parmesan Bread!

Or better yet, make a loose-meat sandwich with any hearty bread or your favorite sandwich roll.

Let us know how this and other recipes work for your weeknights in the Comments below.


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