Growing up in a large family ( there were 6 of us kids), I’m sure my mom had a tough time coming up with ideas for supper to please all of us. Of course, we were brought up to eat what was put in front of us. But in my childhood, that was easy because anything my mom cooked was great. One of my favorites was her spaghetti. She made a simple homemade pasta sauce and mixed in the spaghetti for a one-dish meal.
Of course, there was one exception. My sister didn’t like the sauce so my mom would put aside a small amount of the cooked spaghetti and my sister would eat that with butter on it. (there had to be at least one of us). My mom added a salad and garlic bread to complete the meal.
When I got married I noticed that I cooked the way my mom did. My poor husband in the first few years we were married had some adjusting to do. His mom cooked completely differently than my mom. I really believe that it had to do with my husband growing up in the country on a farm. I grew up in the “burbs”.
My husband always tells me that I grew up in the “city”. I have to keep reminding him there is a big difference between the “city” and the “suburbs” Needless to say after 40 years of marriage, he has adjusted well. 🙂 He really didn’t have much of a choice if he wanted to eat. 🙂
It became a tradition that I would make spaghetti on Christmas Eve. It was a simple and quick meal so that we could get to the business of opening presents. When that business was over they knew they had to get to bed so that Santa could come.
Brown 1 pound of ground beef with 1/2 large onion chopped. (I use ground
chuck, 80/20), Drain the grease off the meat and add 1 can tomato soup, 1 can tomato sauce and a jar of sliced mushrooms.
Stir until mixed well and add 2-3 tablespoons Italian Seasoning. This amount is entirely up to you. It depends on your taste. I also add about 1/4 cup white sugar but you can omit this. Simmer on low until you have the pasta ready.
I like my sauces a little on the sweet side. We have this local Italian restaurant and their sauces are a little on the sweet side as well. That’s why I absolutely love this restaurant. But some of my family members (my brother) will request that I don’t add sugar to the sauce if they are at my house for this meal. So the nice person that I am, I do omit the sugar on request 🙂
This sauce is so versatile you can use it with almost any type of pasta. I usually use spaghetti but on occasion, I like to mix it up and use a different kind of pasta. In the photo of the finished product on this page, I used Penne Rigate. It has small grooves in the pasta that holds onto the sauce nicely.
There are so many types/kinds of pasta that you can use besides spaghetti. Macaroni (elbows), mostaccioli, and Rigatoni just to name a few. To make the pasta just follow the instructions on the box. The box of Penne Rigate was 16 ounces and I used half the box. I always add a couple tablespoons of the water from the pan of boiling pasta before draining, into the sauce. And I prefer my cooked pasta Al dente.
The Cheese, Yes Or No?
Have some parmesan cheese on hand for the ones who like cheese on top of their pasta. In my house, we like the meal without the cheese. Another great alternative is after mixing the sauce with the pasta, add some finely shredded mozzarella cheese on top. The warm sauce/pasta will melt the cheese. Who doesn’t like melty gooey cheese?
Putting It All Together
After you have drained the pasta, add the sauce and mix well. Serve with garlic bread and a salad. Enjoy! This a very easy but satisfying meal. Nothing fancy just plain and simple but oh so good!
I have in the past added a can of tomatoes to give the sauce a little depth. I quit doing this because my husband doesn’t like hot tomatoes. He wants his tomatoes cold and sliced on the side or on top of a cheeseburger/hamburger.
I do on occasion try to cook what my husband likes. I don’t want him to go hungry, after all, he does put in a hard day’s work. And I have always heard that the way to get to a man’s heart is through his stomach. Lol.
You can also serve the pasta and the sauce in separate bowls. That way your guests can apply as little or as much of the sauce as they want.
Many years ago I made this dish for a school friend and her family. They lived 6 hours away and I had invited them down for a 4th of July get-together. They were staying the weekend and I needed to come up with a meal before the big event the following day. Needless to say, her husband was amazed that I made the sauce from scratch and not out of a jar.
Please leave me a comment below and let me know what you think! I always love hearing from you.
Have a Wonderful and Tasty day!