I love it when I learn something new – especially from one of my friends. A few weeks ago my friend Jen invited us over to dinner. Let me tell you a little bit about Jen.
Jen is a nurse practitioner, flight attendant, wife and stepmom. She and her husband have just completed a major home remodel and her mother-in-law just moved in.
In the middle of all of this activity, she called and invited us over to dinner. In the middle of the week. On a Tuesday. What?!?
She insisted that it wasn’t a big deal and that she would just whip up a batch of spaghetti and meat sauce. Now when I make meat sauce I brown ground beef and mix it in with tomato sauce. That’s not what Jen did.
She made a rich, hearty meat sauce – using tomato paste! – onions, garlic and herbs. It was nice and thick, like a bolognese. Best of all, this isn’t one of those ‘exact’ kind of recipes. Just follow Jen’s formula.Jen’s Organic ‘No Sauce’ Meat Sauce (Note: Jen only uses organic ingredients.) One pound serves 4 For every pound of organic ground beef, you’ll need: one medium to large onion, chopped 2-3 cloves garlic, chopped 1/3 cup red wine one small can of tomato paste 16 ounces of water 1 teaspoon oregano 1 teaspoon basil salt to taste
This is really easy. Brown the ground beef. Add the onions and garlic. Cook the onions and garlic until translucent. Add the red wine and reduce. After that add the tomato paste, water and herbs. Add salt to taste.
The secret to this sauce is to let it cook, uncovered, and let it reduce until it’s nice and thick. You’ll need a minimum of 45 minutes for it to be good and thick. If you don’t want your sauce to be that thick, a half hour should be fine.