School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

by Olivia

School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Hey y’all! Today, we’re diving into a nostalgic classic that takes us back to the good ol’ days of school cafeteria lunches. This School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce is hearty, flavorful, and perfect for a comforting meal. Let’s get started and bring back those delicious memories!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

This spaghetti and meat sauce recipe is not only delicious but also simple and straightforward. It’s packed with flavorful herbs and lean ground beef, making it a satisfying and hearty meal. Plus, it’s versatile enough to be adapted with different meats or herbs to suit your taste.

Ingredients

  • 2¾ lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ (6-oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tsp dried basil
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked

How to Make This Recipe

  1. Brown the Ground Beef: In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain the fat.
  2. Add the Seasonings and Tomatoes: Add the dried minced onions, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, whole tomatoes (crushing them by hand or breaking them up with a spoon), tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine.
  3. Add the Herbs: Add the dried basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. Stir well to combine.
  4. Simmer: Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and flavors meld together.
  5. Combine with Spaghetti: Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce.
  6. Serve: Serve hot and enjoy!
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School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Variations

  • Meat Swap: Substitute ground turkey or Italian sausage for the ground beef for a different flavor profile.
  • Herb Freshness: Use fresh herbs instead of dried herbs if preferred. The general conversion is one tablespoon of fresh herbs for one teaspoon of dried herbs.
  • Pasta Options: Use this sauce with any pasta you have on hand, not just spaghetti.

Equipment

  • Large skillet
  • Spoon or spatula
  • Measuring spoons

Storage

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave until warmed through.

Freezing Instructions

  • Freeze the Sauce: Let the sauce cool completely, then transfer it to plastic containers or freezer bags. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before reheating.

What to Serve with This Recipe

This spaghetti pairs wonderfully with a simple green salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables. A sprinkle of Parmesan cheese on top adds an extra touch of flavor.

Tips

  • Crushing the whole tomatoes by hand gives a rustic texture to the sauce.
  • Dried herbs are more potent than fresh herbs. Use less dried herbs if substituting with fresh.
  • Make sure to let the sauce simmer long enough to develop deep, rich flavors.

FAQ

Q: Can I make this sauce in a slow cooker? A: Yes! Brown the ground beef first, then add all ingredients to the slow cooker. Cook on LOW for 6 to 8 hours.

Q: Is this spaghetti sauce gluten-free? A: Yes, all the ingredients used in this sauce are gluten-free.

Q: Can I freeze the spaghetti sauce? A: Absolutely! Let it cool completely, then transfer to plastic containers or freezer bags and freeze for up to 3 months.

School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

School Cafeteria Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

Yield: 6-8
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour

This spaghetti and meat sauce recipe is not only delicious but also simple and straightforward.

Ingredients

  • 2¾ lb lean ground beef
  • 2 Tbsp dried minced onions
  • 1½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes, undrained
  • 1½ (6-oz) cans tomato paste
  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tsp dried basil
  • 4 tsp dried oregano
  • 2½ tsp dried marjoram
  • 1½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked

Instructions

In a large skillet, brown the ground beef over medium heat until fully cooked. Drain the fat.
Add the dried minced onions, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, whole tomatoes (crushing them by hand or breaking them up with a spoon), tomato paste, and water. Stir to combine.
Add the dried basil, oregano, marjoram, and thyme. Stir well to combine.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 30 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens and flavors meld together.
Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce.
Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

Approximate Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 350 per serving
  • Carbohydrates: 45g
  • Protein: 25g
  • Fat: 10g

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