Chef Dad's Meat Sauce for Pasta

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

1/2 lb. Ground Beef
15 oz. Can of Tomato Sauce*
15 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes (preferably Italian)*
2 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 Cup Onion (diced small)
2 Tbsp. Garlic (chopped fine)
1 Tbsp. Basil Flakes
1 tsp. Sugar
1 tsp. Kosher Salt (plus extra)
1/4 tsp. Black Pepper (plus extra)

1) Put your seasoning mix listed above (basil flakes, sugar, salt & pepper) in a small bowl and set aside. Add 1/4 tsp. of crushed red pepper if you like it a little spicier.

2) Cook your ground beef over medium high heat with a few heavy pinches of salt and pepper. Chop it up as you cook it. Drain off excess fat and set aside.

3) Warm up a medium-sized sauce pan over medium heat. When hot, add olive oil. Wait 15 seconds then add your diced onion and garlic. Sprinkle with a heavy pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté for about 4 minutes. Add your tomato sauce and diced tomatoes then stir. Now add the seasoning mix we made in step 1. Stir well.

4) Once the sauce starts simmering, add the ground beef, cover the pan then reduce heat to medium low then let simmer for about 7-8 minutes. After 7-8 minutes, taste for seasoning adjustment. Serve immediately or store for up to one week.

Cook's Notes: Make sure you have fresh grated Parmesan to top off your sauce and pasta. If you like veggies like bell peppers or mushrooms in your sauce, sauté them until tender prior to adding to your sauce during step #1. Remember not to make your pasta until the sauce is done. The sauce can standby while the pasta cooks, but not vice versa.

*When it comes to canned tomatoes, I strongly recommend you look in the organic section of your grocery store. The quality and final results are like night and day. Muir Glen® makes a great tomato sauce in a 15=oz. can and most any imported Italian brand of chopped/diced tomatoes work great if your store carries them.