It’s definitely family week! My dad came to visit which has been amazing because I haven’t see him in a LONG time. He lives in South America so we don’t get to talk as often as we like and we spend a while catching up and chatting about life. One of the best memories I have of my dad is sitting down at the dinner table and enjoying a plate of spaghetti big enough to feed a small army. While thinking of all the thing to cook for him while he’s in town (4 whole days!) I immediately thought to make a batch of my sauce and his favorite pasta, angel hair. He was pretty happy about it because he’s been wanting to learn how to make a good starter spaghetti sauce.
There are several variations of this sauce. I usually use ground beef in my sauce but I forgot to buy it so I used some mushrooms I had in the fridge, awesome vegetarian option. Also.. I have a secret ingredient! Before I reveal this secret ingredient let me say this. No one has ever guessed this ingredient and when I tell friends what it is it takes a few seconds for the shock to leave their faces. SO.. are you ready?? My secret ingredient is.. anchovy paste! WAIT! Before you close this blog you should know this.. you can NOT taste ANY kind of ‘fishy’ or ‘anchovy-y’ anything in this sauce! The paste melts right into the sauce and before it completely disappears from the pan it leaves behind a salty, slightly nutty, goodness! I’ve kept this ingredient a secret for over 3 years and now that you know you should at least try it ONCE!
Makes approx 4 cups of sauce
1 large onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp anchovy paste
1 lb ground meat (beef or turkey, I didn’t have either so I used mushrooms)
1 large can crushed tomato
1 large can diced tomato, liquid discarded
4 tbsp herbes de provence
2 tbsp garlic powder (yes, more garlic)
1 package of fresh basil, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 package of fresh mint, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
Salt & pepper to taste
First, sautee the onion & garlic in a sauce pot at medium heat. After about 4 minutes add the anchovy paste and watch it melt away! Add the ground meat of your choice, this is where I added the chopped button mushrooms.
Once the ground meat is fully cooked or mushrooms are cooked down, lower the heat to low and add the crushed tomato & diced tomato.
Please note: the crushed tomatoes in this photo are still in their juice, please don’t forget to drain the liquid before adding it to the pot!
Stir this all together and allow to simmer for 10 minutes before turning off the heat. THEN.. pour it all over your favorite pasta and top it with lots of cheese. Last step? EAT!
It was a lot of fun cooking & eating with my dad but the best part was watching him eat it, just like when I was a kid!