While I was looking through the cookbook where I discovered the recipe for Michelle's Manicotti, I stumbled upon the basis for this recipe, which is a pretty basic, slow-simmered spaghetti sauce. I did make a few changes, and I absolutely loved the results. This could be the best meat sauce I've ever tried. So thank you, Ms. Marlene Paulsrud ... whomever you are.
This recipe calls for simmering the sauce for at least an hour on the stovetop. However, I let mine cook on low heat all afternoon long, because I love the aroma of a huge pot of sauce cooking all day. You could easily put this in this in the slow cooker, as well, for an even lower-maintenance option.
Slow-Simmered Spaghetti Sauce
Makes 8-10 servings
2 pounds ground beef (85% lean)
2 cloves garlic, minced
Salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 bay leaf
2 1 1/2-ounce packets Italian spaghetti sauce seasoning mix (I used one regular and one zesty)
1 teaspoon brown sugar
3 cups water
2 15-ounce cans tomato sauce
2 6-ounce cans tomato paste
1 small can mushrooms, drained
1 small can sliced black olives, drained
Additional salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt, to taste
1. Brown ground beef and garlic over medium-high heat in a large pot. Season with salt, pepper, onion salt, and garlic salt.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and simmer over low heat for at least 1 hour.
3. Serve over hot pasta.