So before I go on and on about this yummy new meat sauce, I can’t wait to tell you all that the hubs and I are going on a date night tonight (T-8 hours) to see the one and only, Jon Bon Jovi. I have been playing “Blaze of Glory” and “Livin on a Prayer” on repeat on my play list in preparation for this amazing night. When I found out Jon was playing here in Austin and I knew I had to go. For those of you who do not know, I am a Jersey Girl, born and raised, and Jon is like Jesus to us in Dirty Jers! I love the saying, “You can take the girl out of Jersey, but you can’t take the Jersey out of the girl.” That explains me to the “T.” I certainly will be fist pumping with the best of them tomorrow, rocking it out. I am so excited to see Jon that I am honestly thinking of teasing my hair and wearing acid white jeans?!?! That’s ok, right?
No it is not (just this one time), but only because I want to look super cute for the hubby since we rarely go out on a school night (we sound so old)! Not only am I excited to see the concert, but I am more excited to be able to go out with my hubby sans kiddos and eat a nice meal and talk about nothing kid related. Every time we get around to scheduling a date, we always say we need to plan more dates. When I was little (and had no clue about life), I used to think that parents that went on dates and got sitters weekly were selfish and bad parents and now I realize that is so far from the truth. I now know (after 8+ years of “blissful” marriage) that in order to be good parents you must be above all good lovers and friends; that in my opinion is a recipe for a successful marriage and family. So of course when the in-laws are in town (thanks Grammie and Grammiedad) we always take advantage of the free babysitting but Ben and I know that we still need to take the time and think of the babysitter fees as an investment on our future. It is worth every penny.
Ok so back to this meat sauce that I *may* love as much as my hot hubby. Honestly, I make some version of a semi-homemade tomato meat sauce weekly. It is so versatile and can be served over any veggie imaginable: spaghetti squash and julienne cut zucchini are the obvious choices, but how about sautéed cabbage or over acorn squash or even sautéed brussels sprouts or mashed rutabaga? The options are endless. It never gets boring in our house, that is for sure.
Anyway, I love making my first version of my semi-homemade meat sauce version 1 time and time again. It honestly is such a crowd pleaser with my family, especially the boys. Now that I have stopped serving pasta noodles (and they are not too keen on all my grain substitutions), they eat it plain by the spoonful, like a stew. Again, I make some variation of meat sauce all the time but this past week I wanted something a little lighter (not too much sauce especially sans the tomato paste) and more flavor (think fresh herbs like basil) so I decided this time to do a meat sauce consisting of half pork and half ground beef. The results were amazing. My husband asked me if I were forced to pick which version I liked better and I couldn’t decide because Version 1 is hearty and tasty, perhaps better for the winter months while my Version 2.0 is lighter and a lot more flavorful. You be the decider. Let me know what you think.
I served my meat sauce with roasted spaghetti squash, but again you can serve it over anything. So enjoy the recipe, remember to always rock on, AND make the time to go on date nights with your significant other!
- 1lb of ground beef
- 1lb of natural ground pork sausage
- 1 large yellow onion, peeled and diced
- 2 colorful bell peppers, deseeded and diced (I used red and yellow for some color)
- 1 (28 oz) can of organic diced tomatoes
- 4-5 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-3 tablespoon of olive oil (or fat of your choice)
- ½ teaspoon of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (add more red pepper flakes or cayenne pepper for more heat)
- ½ cup of fresh basil, cleaned and chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Put your sous chef hat on and chop your peppers, onions and garlic.
- Once your vegetables are hot, in a saute pan heat your fat of choice and add your chopped veggies and minced garlic. Cooked until onions are translucent.
- Once our veggies are cooked, add both your ground beef and pork sausage and brown with a wooden spoon trying break apart the meat.
- Once the pink is almost gone, add your spices, salt, pepper and crushed tomatoes.
- Lower heat and cook covered for 10 minutes.
- Once the sauce is cooked through, add your fresh basil and stir.
- Your sauce is ready to be devoured! Enjoy!
So there you have it…another tasty recipe. So question, how many of you have made homemade tomato sauce from “scratch.” How much more SCRATCH does it have to get? Do you use canned or fresh tomatoes and most importantly is it worth the effort? As always, thanks for stopping by and sharing.
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