Not From Scratch Spaghetti Sauce

November 19, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Posted in Alton Brown, Italian, Italian Sausage, Mushrooms, My Own Creation, Spaghetti, Supper | Leave a comment

I haven’t cooked in weeks!  You can imagine what my kitchen pantry and freezer and refrigerator looked like when hubby and I came home from the hospital.  My mom had been staying over with our son, taking care of him and of the house and the animals….but still, there wasn’t much in the house to prepare a meal with.

I ran to the grocery store without a list – always a scary thing – and just started flinging things into the cart.  My memory told me that I had a jar of Prego spaghetti sauce at home – it was supposed to have been for something – don’t ask me what – so I decided to fix it up for supper.


1 jar Prego Arrabbiata Spaghetti Sauce

1 pound Johnsonville Italian Sausage

1 container (8 ounces) of fresh mushrooms

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 tbsp. basil

2 tbsp. oregano

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp. white sugar

Dash of salt

1/2 pound Barilla Spaghetti

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOn medium heat, brown the sausage, along with the onions and mushrooms.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the spices (including the sugar) when the sausage is completely cooked and browned.

Pour in the spaghetti sauce carefully, because it could splatter.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACover and simmer on low for about 10 minutes, allowing the spices to blend.  Taste and adjust your seasonings.  My husband sometimes tells me I don’t use enough oregano or basil.  Last night, he didn’t say anything negative about this sauce!

Boil the spaghetti in lots of hot, salted water; I used my Fasta Pasta Microwave Pasta Cooker.  It only takes about 13 minutes to prepare enough spaghetti for the three of us. If not for the pasta cooker, it would take a LONG TIME for an entire pot of salted water to boil, so I really like my pasta cooker.

Serve with Parmesan cheese and hot, buttery garlic bread.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADelicious!OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, and one more thought before I go…about those mushrooms…I hear people on television and read blogs and websites warning about washing mushrooms – that instead of washing them by dunking them in water, you should “brush” them clean or wipe them clean with a wet paper towel because otherwise, they’ll “soak” up water.  Yesterday after I dunked and washed and sliced my mushrooms, I was remembering Alton Brown’s “Good Eats”, and how one night he did an experiment PROVING that mushrooms do NOT soak up any water, no matter how long they sit in water….and look what I found:  The Fungal Gourmet transcript, courtesy of The Good Eats Fan Page!  It’s amazing what you can find when you search high and low 🙂


Meatless Monday on Tuesday

July 23, 2013 at 9:32 pm | Posted in Garlic, Herbs, Main Dish, Meatless Monday, Spaghetti, Supper | Leave a comment

We had Meatless Monday on Tuesday.  It’s been a busy week and I don’t even know what today is 🙂


8 ounces spaghetti

1/3 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. McCormick Crushed Red Pepper Flakes

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

1 tbsp. McCormick Perfect Pinch Italian Seasoning

Boil the spaghetti with plenty of salted water.  Combine oil with seasonings in a medium-sized bowl.Olive oil and spicesI didn’t want to turn on the oven since it was so HOT, so I popped the herb bread into the toaster and then buttered it.  It worked well.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADrain spaghetti and add to the oil and herb mixture.  Mix gently.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was yummy.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Homemade Spaghetti Sauce: The “After” Pictures

June 27, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Crock Pot, Italian Sausage, My Own Creation, Spaghetti, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve been blogging about cooking now for a few months and have shared tons of “before” and “during” pictures but today while I was making my own creation:  spaghetti with Italian sausage and fresh mushrooms, I didn’t click any pics.  Instead, I present to you, after the spaghetti supper.  First off, our table, which thankfully had been pretty much cleared off:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext, the dishwasher filled with yesterday’s dishes and the pile of dirty dishes on top of the kitchen counter:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI’m the first to admit that I’m a messy cook.  My husband has been telling me for 26 years that I need to “clean up as I cook” but somehow I just can’t do that.  Now, here we have what’s left of my spaghetti sauce:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIt was so good!  I’m going to pop this container into the fridge once it cools off and use it in a couple of days.  I was thinking of buying some fresh mozzarella and baking some of it with either penne pasta or something similar.  Suggestions?  Finally, here’s the crock pot that the sauce cooked in all day:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAw, man, I wanted to lick my crock pot clean!

Spaghetti Aglio, Olio e Peperoncino

June 17, 2013 at 8:23 pm | Posted in Italian, Meatless Monday, Spaghetti, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I read something similar in a cookbook by Lidia Bastianich, but didn’t write out the recipe.  So, while writing up my menu for the week, decided to go hunting and found this.  It was AWESOME!  It’s from Camilla Salem at YumSugar.


8 ounces of spaghetti

2 large garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. red pepper flakes

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. pepper

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERACook spaghetti, until al dente.

In a small dish, start adding the spices; I didn’t use a lot of red pepper:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd the salt, pepper and mince garlic to dish and mix well.  It smelled so good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMeasure out the olive oil.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAdd oil to spices and stir; allow flavors to meld.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATaste and add any extra red pepper, salt or black pepper, or even garlic.  Drain spaghetti and put into serving bowl.  Pour oil mixture over spaghetti.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh, wow!  Serve with garlic bread and salad.


I want to start doing a Meatless Monday – no promises!  It would be good for all three of us, though, don’t you think?

Spaghetti Night

May 13, 2013 at 6:59 pm | Posted in Italian, Main Dish, Pasta, Ron's Own Creation, Spaghetti, Spaghetti Sauce, Supper, Sweet Italian Sausage, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I didn’t cook tonight.  Hubby and I ran around this morning in Springfield; when we came home, we both napped a couple of hours.  If not for the silly phone ringing, I probably could have slept longer.

I pulled out some spaghetti sauce from the freezer; hubby made it last month.  He makes really, really delicious spaghetti.  Actually, I learned how to make it by watching him.  My mom uses a McCormick’s Thick & Zesty Spaghetti Sauce packet.  She’s got problems with biting into onions and stuff, so her spaghetti sauce consists of meat and sauce.  She likes mushrooms, but as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve never seen her put any in her sauce.  Oh, well.

Anyway, we had hubby’s spaghetti and it was delish.  He used Italian sausage instead of hamburger and he added mushrooms.  I love it when he cooks!

I posted my spaghetti sauce recipe and his is probably extremely similar since I learned from him.


Spaghetti Sauce

April 23, 2013 at 6:47 pm | Posted in Crock Pot, Epic FAIL!, Italian, Italian Spices, Main Dish, My Own Creation, Pasta, Spaghetti | 1 Comment

We love spaghetti!  I make the best spaghetti sauce – my husband taught me how.  Here’s how I do it:


1 pound hamburger (or Italian sausage)

15 oz. can tomato sauce

12 oz. can tomato paste

28 oz. can petite diced tomatoes

6 oz. mushrooms, sliced

2 tbsp. basil

2 bay leaves

2 tbsp. onion powder

2 tbsp. oregano

2 tbsp. parsley

2 garlic cloves, minced

salt and pepper


Brown meat.  Add spices.


Pour diced tomato, tomato sauce, paste into crock pot.


Add browned meat and stir gently.  Cook on LOW until you’re ready to prepare the spaghetti noodles.  I’ve got a Fasta Pasta spaghetti cooker that I love.

Now, this story would typically have a happy ending, complete with a photo of my supper table.

I have to be HONEST with you though and admit to a huge FAIL, though.

I forgot to plug in the crock pot.

So, the sauce sat at room temp ALL DAY – from almost 10:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

Needless to say, it wasn’t the risk of feeding bad food to my family, so the whole shebang was tossed.  Oh, well.  Hubby will make some sauce for tomorrow’s supper while I am gone all day to Springfield.

Spaghetti Valhalla – Again!

April 17, 2013 at 8:12 pm | Posted in Casserole, Italian, Main Dish, Spaghetti, Supper, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve made this before, back in January.  It was time to make it again, and time to mix it up a bit.


1 pound Italian sausage, browned and drained

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked and drained

8 ounce can of tomato sauce

8 ounces water – just refill the tomato sauce can

14 ounce jar of Ragu Pizza Sauce (this is my addition)

2 cup package of Kraft Italian Five Cheese Blend (the original recipe called for cheddar)

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI hadn’t tried this cheese before but it sounded YUMMY so I grabbed it:


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Brown sausage thoroughly.


Prepare spaghetti.  I love my Fasta Pasta Cooker and use it all the time for my spaghetti!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASpray your casserole dish (I used an 11 x 7) with olive oil mister and spread about half the can of tomato sauce on bottom of dish.


Lay spaghetti on top.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow, the rest of the tomato sauce and the can of water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATime for the pizza sauce and then, finally, the cheese!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABake, uncovered, for about 30-35 minutes, until bubbly and browned.


Serve with hot garlic bread.

Daniel’s Around the World Soup

April 10, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Posted in Beef Chuck Roast, Daniel's Own Creation, Italian, Italian Spices, Main Dish, Mexican, Soups & Stews, Spaghetti | 2 Comments

My son loves to cook.  From the moment he could stand on a step-stool or chair and reach the stove, I’ve encouraged his curiosity and creativity.  Tonight he prepared an incredibly rich soup.  We devoured the entire pot!


1 pound chuck roast, cut into bite-sized chunks

2 tbsp. canola oil

2 tbsp. oregano

2 tbsp. salt

2 tbsp. pepper

2 tbsp. cumin (comino)

2 tbsp. parsley

3 bay leaves

1 garlic clove, minced

1 can (15 ounces) of petite diced tomatoes

1/4 cup red wine

1 packet of Knorr’s beef stock (I love this stuff!)

4 cups of water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHeat oil in soup pot on HIGH; once oil is shimmery hot, toss in the meat.  Stir in the spices and garlic.


Add the diced tomatoes.


Stir in the red wine, stock packet and water.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALooks good already, doesn’t it?  I can attest that it smelled wonderful!  Cover with oven-proof lid and pop into the oven for at least two hours.  At the end of two hours, take it out and set on stove burner, turn back to HIGH, bring to a boil and break in enough spaghetti for the family; I just guesstimated the amount we’d need, Daniel broke it up and tossed it in.  Let spaghetti boil for about 8 minutes.


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMmm, this mom was ready to eat!  Serve with cheese (we put Parmesan and Parmigiano Reggiano on the table).  Oh, it was so good!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANow in case you’re wondering, he called it Around the World Soup because it had both Italian and Mexican touches:  the cumin, which we call comino, is Mexican, as well as the cilantro.  And, you know that the oregano and spaghetti are Italian.

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