Pasta Sauce

1 (15 oz.) can tomato sauce

1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste

1 Tbl. dried onion (or 1/2 fresh chopped onion, just sauté it a little first)

1 tsp. garlic powder (or 1-2 fresh minced garlic cloves, again – sauté first)

1/4 tsp. salt

2 Tbl. sugar

1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flake

1 Tbl. cumin

2 tsp. dried oregano

1 tsp. dried basil

1 cup water

Combine all ingredients and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.

This recipe isn’t fancy or anything, but it definitely suites my family’s taste. It’s not too spicy for little kids, Jeremy is 4 and is not a fan of spicy stuff, but it does have enough flavor to keep the adults happy. Just like with your pizza, you can always add more red pepper flake if you want to kick the heat up a little. We much prefer this over jarred sauce from the grocery store and it only takes a minute or two more to put together.

Jeremy's a big fan. 🙂

I usually add anywhere from 1/2 to 1 pound of cooked ground beef to this because we prefer our red sauce meaty. However, this also tastes great without meat if that’s your thing. There are a couple of options that I’ve found also utilize this sauce perfectly:

Option 1: Create as directed above and use to top or toss with pasta as usual.

Option 2: You can omit the cup of water and let this simmer down for about 20 minutes instead of 10 and you’ll have a thicker sauce that’s perfect for homemade pizza or dipping bread or mozzarella sticks into.

Option 3: Combine all of the ingredients but increase the water from 1 cup to 5, add 3 cups of hearty pasta (like the penne pictured above), and allow it all to simmer together for 15-20 minutes, depending on how “done” you like your pasta. I like doing it this way because you cook the ground beef in the pot, then drain the fat and create the sauce in the same pot, then cook the pasta in the sauce. Instead of needing a medium saucepan, pasta pot, and skillet for the beef, all you need is one pot and you have much less to clean up after dinner. Also, the pasta takes on the flavor of the sauce. Extra tasty!

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