The story of this spaghetti sauce epitomizes what I think should happen with good recipes. My friend Jennie had a version of this sauce at her friend Dorothy’s house. Jennie loved the sauce and asked for the recipe. Dorothy said – “well it’s a bit of this and a bit of that” – and gave the recipe to Jennie. Jennie made some modifications to Dorothy’s notes and made her version for me one evening and I said – “I’ve got to have that sauce!” Jennie said, well, “it’s a bit of this and a bit of that” and she outlined what you need to do on a small scrap of green lined paper. On the top she noted that it came from “Dorothy.” I have quantified how much of this and how much of that you should add since I think you’d be annoyed by a food blog post that said to “add a bit of this and bit of that.” Rest assured, this is not rocket science and additions and subtractions from the core recipe are clearly possible – in fact encouraged. Make it your own – Dorothy, Jennie and I did. Let me know what changes you make and how it works out. You can always find a serving of this in my freezer and more often than not in my sister’s freezer too. This recipe makes a huge amount of sauce. It freezes really well and makes a hearty winter dinner in a snap straight from the freezer. As you’ll see it has a massive amount of vegetables in the sauce, though most small children who practice vegetable avoidance will never know they are there.
Hearty Spaghetti Sauce
- 5-6 lbs ground beef (grass fed organic recommended)
- 1 cup Italian flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- 2 tablespoons dried oregano
- 2 tablespoons dried basil
- 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
- 6 cloves of garlic, chopped fine
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 3 14.5 oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 6 15 oz cans of tomato sauce
- 3-4 cups crimini mushrooms, coarsely chopped (I use the bags of chopped crimini mushrooms from TJ’s)
- 3 cups carrots, finely chopped (I throw them in the Cuisinart on pulse)
- 3 cups celery, finely chopped (I throw these in the Cuisinart on pulse as well)
- ½ cube best quality butter or olive oil (optional)
Brown hamburger meat in a really large pot. When the meat is brown, drain off all fat. To the meat add the chopped parsley, rosemary, oregano, basil, black pepper, garlic, bay leaves and crushed red pepper flakes. Sauté over medium-heat for 30 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes and tomato sauce. Simmer uncovered for one hour.
Add mushrooms, carrots and celery. Let simmer uncovered for one and half hours.
Add butter or olive oil. Let simmer for 45 minutes longer. Serve or let cool and freeze.