This is a picture of Chase and Nan. Nan’s parent immigrated to America from Italy. She grew up speaking Italian, and more importantly COOKING Italian.
On a monthly basis, Chase can be heard wistfully recalling Nan’s cooking. He loves everything she cooks, especially her spaghetti with meatballs the size of softballs.
I realize that trying to duplicate Nan’s Spaghetti with Meatballs is a lost cause. There is no way I can replicate the magical nature of her cooking technique, nor the grandmotherly love she puts into each one of those meatballs.
With that being said, I am not above trying to make a killer meat sauce and yesterday I decided to do just that.
I cooked and shredded two small spaghetti squashes to provide Paleo “noodles” for me. For Chase, a complete squash hater, I cooked up some Italian pasta.
For the sauce, I browned the beef and then allowed the sauce to simmer in the slow-cooker all day. For me, Sunday’s are the quintessential crockpot day. I love having the aroma of dinner wafting through the air all day. However, you can easily just simmer this on the stove.
This is literally SUCH an easy recipe. It took about 15 minutes to assemble.
Sally Anne’s Not Nan’s (but still Yummy) Meat Sauce
1 1/2 lb. ground beef (ground turkey or tofu could be easily substituted)
1 small onion (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (minced)
2 cans (28oz) Crushed tomatoes
1 (14 oz) can Tomato paste
1 can Tomato paste
2 tsp. Oregano
2 tsp. Basil (I used 2 tbsp. fresh basil from our plant)
1 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp Italian seasonings
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
Dash of sugar (cuts the acidity of the tomatoes)
1 Beef Boullion cube
1) Place beef, onion, and garlic in a saucepan coated with olive oil and cook 5-10 minutes until browned
2) While the beef is cooking pour all other ingredients in slow-cooker or stock pot.
3) Pour beef, onion, and garlic into tomato/spice mixture
4) Cook on low 4 hours in crockpot or simmer 1 hour on stove
5) Enjoy over spaghetti squash or noodles!
Chase LOVED this meal. He could not stop saying, “YUM!”
That is success in my book!
Do you like Italian food? What is your favorite Italian dish?